Canada's maple-leaf flag is one of the most recognizable national symbols in the world. Canada has two official languages—English and French. In French, the maple-leaf flag is nicknamed "L'Unifolie," or the "one-leaf."

Photograph by Denise Charro, MyShot
  • On February 15, 1965, Canada adopted its iconic maple-leaf flag. Canada is a part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, and prior to the adoption of the new flag, it featured a British flag, or Union Jack, in its upper left corner. By the 1960s, most citizens wanted to have a flag that symbolized Canadian, not British, identity. The symbol chosen was an 11-point leaf from the maple tree—common throughout the country. 
    Following a proclamation by Queen Elizabeth II, the new national flag was raised on Parliament Hill in the capital city of Ottawa. Today, the maple leaf flag is one of the most easily recognizable national symbols in the world.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    capital Noun

    city where a region's government is located.

    Encyclopedic Entry: capital
    commonwealth Noun

    self-governing territory affiliated with the United States, used for Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands.

    iconic Adjective

    event or symbol representing a belief, nation, or community.

    identity Noun

    how a person defines themselves, or how others define them.

    national Adjective

    having to do with the government or people of a country.

    prior Adjective

    before or ahead of.

    proclamation Noun

    public announcement.

    symbolize Verb

    to represent an object, idea, organization, or geographical region.

    Union Jack Noun

    the flag of the United Kingdom, combining the flags of Ireland, England, and Scotland. Also called the Union flag.