National Flag of Canada Day: February 15, 2020

February 14, 2020 | Katherine McG

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Canadian Flag - Kingston 2012
There is an important holiday that takes place in February, where red (and white) abounds and a central design symbolizes love (of country). No, it's not Valentine's Day. It's National Flag of Canada Day and since 1996, Canadians have been urged to celebrate this symbol of "our home and native land" every February 15.

The flag of Canada has been around for longer than 24 years of course but maybe not for as long as you might think. It was on February 15, 1965 at exactly 12 o'clock noon when the familiar red and white banner was first raised over Parliament Hill in Ottawa (our nation's capital) and the Maple Leaf has been proudly waving as the official flag of our country ever since.

And while the Canadian flag is internationally recognized as a symbol of not only our country but also Canadian values such as politeness and kindness, most Canadians know very little about its history. For example, if you say the name Betsy Ross, most people know that she is famous for sewing the first American flag but do you know who sewed the first samples of our modern Canadian flag?*

If you want to celebrate National Flag of Canada Day by learning more about its storied past, including the long debate over its creation and design, check out some of these books in our TPL collections:

Our Canadian Flag

Our Canadian Flag by Maxine Trottier and Brian Deines - Ages 4-12

Canadian Flag

Canada's Flag (Canadian Icons Series) by Lesley Evans Ogden - Ages 3-8

The Canadian Flag

The Canadian Flag (Canadian Symbols Series) by Sabrina Crewe - Ages 4-8

Our Flag The Story of Canadas Maple Leaf

Our Flag: The Story of Canada's Maple Leaf by Ann-Maureen Owens and Jane Yealland - Ages 9-12

(*In this book, you can find the answer to my earlier question and read all about Joan O'Malley, the woman who sewed the first samples of our Canadian flag.)

There are of course other ways to celebrate our Maple Leaf. On the official National Flag of Canada Day website, the Government of Canada suggests "Five Ways to Celebrate Flag Day":

  1. Host a Flag Ceremony - Raise Canada's flag and maybe sing the National Anthem.
  2. Create a Living Flag - Gather friends and family together, wear red and white or use coloured paper and become a flag.
  3. Take a Selfie - And if you have permission to post it on social media be sure to use the official hashtag #CanadianFlag.
  4. Do Something Artistic - Let the flag inspire you to create your own patriotic art work.
  5. Wear the Colours - What's red and white and proud all over? You on National Flag Day of Canada!

So, how will you be celebrating?