Flag Facts & Links

Flag Facts & Links

Interesting Flag Facts

"There are, in fact, authentic flags design of ancient peoples: Smith75, in his introductory chapters, shows an actual photo of a metal flag from Iran, ca. 3000 BC, and reconstructions of vexilloids shown on ancient Greek coins, Egyptian tomb carvings, etc. These are not exactly the rectangular cloth of today, but remarkably similar and surely source material for designs. All these date to before the Christian era, so they certainly qualify as "ancient.""

William E. Dunning, 1998-03-26


Dignity of the Flag

The National Flag of Canada should be displayed only in a manner befitting this important national symbol; it should not be subjected to indignity or displayed in a position inferior to any other flag or ensign. The National Flag always takes precedence over all other national flags when flown in Canada. The only flags to which precedence is given over the Canadian flag are the personal standards of members of the Royal Family and of Her Majesty's eleven representatives in Canada.

The National Flag of Canada should always be flown on its own mast - flag protocol dictates that it is improper to fly two or more flags on the same mast (e.g.: one beneath the other). Further, the following points should be kept in mind:

  • The National Flag of Canada should not be used as table/seat cover, as a masking for boxes or as a barrier on a dais or platform.
  • While it is not technically incorrect to use the National Flag of Canada to cover a statue, monument or plaque for an unveiling ceremony, it is not common practice to do so and should be discouraged.
  • Nothing should be pinned to or sewn on the National Flag of Canada.
  • The National Flag of Canada should not be signed or marked in any way (A border could be attached to the outside edge of the flag on which it would be acceptable to have signatures leaving the flag itself untouched).

When the National Flag of Canada is raised or lowered, or when it is carried past in a parade or review, all present should face the flag, men should remove their hats, and all should remain silent. Those in uniform should salute.


Displaying Flags on Poles

The flag of honour, which is the national flag in most cases, is flown on the centre mast if possible. It is also correct to fly the flag on its own right. To an observer it would be on the far left. If more than three flags are used, the proper position is as far left from the point of view of an observer. Any additional flag may be placed on the right side following in alphabetical order in the language of the host country.


The National Flag of Canada

The maple leaf was historically used from the early days of Canada to symbolize the land and its people. It was first proposed as an emblem of Canada in 1834 when the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste was founded; shortly thereafter, in 1836, Le Canadien, a newspaper published in Lower Canada, referred to it as a suitable emblem for Canada.

It was also used in the decorations for the visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada in 1860. It appears on the coats of arms granted to Quebec and Ontario in 1868 and as a distinctive emblem on the royal arms of Canada proclaimed in 1921. The maple leaf was for many years the symbol of the Canadian Armed Forces and was used to identify Canadian contingents in the two world wars. But it wasn't to receive official status until the National Flag of Canada was proclaimed by Her Majesty the Queen in 1965.