On Feb. 15 Canada marked the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the familiar red maple leaf as the Canadian flag. There was considerable controversy at the time, with the federal Progressive Conservatives under John Diefenbaker reluctant to replace the existing Canadian Red Ensign (pictured) with its strong symbolic link to the British Commonwealth. But the Liberal government under Lester Pearson felt that with the country’s centennial looming in 1967, the time was ripe for Canada to have its own distinct flag.
In the run-up to the 50th anniversary, the current federal government was criticized for not doing enough to commemorate the milestone — ostensibly because it was initiated by a Liberal government, and in today’s hyper partisan political climate only the accomplishments of Conservative governments are worth noting.
At Saskatchewan’s Government House, though, a special exhibition has been created exploring the flag and its history over the last 50 years. It’s a family-friendly endeavour with an interactive station where you can design your own flag, a video booth where you can record your own thoughts and memories of the flag, and other activities.
Celebrate the Flag will run at Government House (4607 Dewdney Ave.) until Sept. 20.