45 years ago, a debate raged across this country over the creation of our national flag. It was serious stuff because it was symbolically a huge step towards a nation growing more independent. Plus, it was a daring design compared to the flags of other countries. Simplistically unique, with the red representing St. George's cross, (St. George being the patron Saint of the United Kingdom) and the white representing the middle portion of the flag of France (which stands for equality), Canada's official colours were adopted.
A few months later, on February 15th, 1965 the decision was made. The Parliament in Ottawa voted for and adopted the Maple Leaf. It's odd to look back on how this was even an issue because our flag has taken on much more patriotic meaning, especially when it is flown or waved during international events. The red maple leaf stands out proudly.
This is a new feeling. Patriotism often isn't a comfortable fit for Canadians. We were a reluctant lot, standing in the shadows of our neighbours to the south and the predominant countries which were involved in our Conferderation. The only places where you saw the flag flying when I was growing up was in front of institutions. Now, you see it everywhere, especially on Canada Day. On that day, EVERYONE wears red and white.
In a country where a sassy bravado is a faux pas, where boasting is frowned upon and considered rude, its ironic that RED is the most predominant colour of Canada. I mean really, you can't hide RED. You can't tone it down, tell it to wait its turn, make it queue up behind the other colours vying for attention. RED does have sassy bravado. And so, our vocal patriotism grows as we mature collectively, allowing the colours of our country to help define us, allowing our identity to evolve as an independent, confident group of individuals.
True north, strong and free.
We may still be considered a minor player at the global table. Our history and accomplishments may not be known well beyond our borders. Heck, we struggle to understand one another within our borders ...... from coast to coast to coast.....our geography and provincial history creates communities within a larger one. But, this vast multicultural landscape has a few iconic symbols which tie us as a nation...... many of which are swathed in the colour red.
With glowing hearts.......
This is my second contribution for Carmi's photography theme this week. For more RED offerings, check out Carmi's blog.