Today's post has two objectives: firstly, talks a bit about the current Canadian flag and its origin and, finally, comment a news related to this flag.
Until 1965, Canada used this flag:
Then they finally changed to current flag:
Between 1963 and 1965, occurred what was called the "Great Canadian Flag Debate", that gained popular repercussion after Lester B. Person, then prime-minister, proposed that Canada should change its flag. In the end, the right above flag won the debate.
Differently of current absolute acceptance of the maple leaf flag, there were, on the times of the adoption, a loud opposition, fearing that flag change would lead Canada to became a republic and leave the Commonwealth. Until now, fortunately or unfortunately, it never occurred.
The new Canada flag is much simpler, original and distinctive than the older flag, and became so popular that reverting it would cause popular un-satisfaction. Canada flag change happened to create what's called Canadian pale, posteriorly adopted by many Canadian territories and towns.
Now the second part, as promised on first paragraph... since Sunday (May 5th 2013), Canadian naval jack is the new naval ensign, and the naval ensign is the new jack i.e. they exchanged places. The old naval ensign, now the naval jack is the national flag; the new naval ensign (the old naval jack) is the following:
I think the change makes Canada nearer of the standard. Usually (specially on Commonwealth countries), the naval ensigns, by major influence of the United Kingdom, takes the national flag on the canton (what now happens). The jacks use to have simpler designs and, in countries where the naval ensign is different of national flag (like Canada), the national flag is the jack. So I totally agree with the change, as the things makes more sense now.
You may be questioning: what have really changed? According to international protocol, jacks are flown on the bow (front), while the ensigns are flown on the main mast (on sea) or in the stern (if the ship is anchored, moored or alongside).
Please, leave a comment. Your opinion is welcome.