OTD: George Stanley, designer of Canada’s national flag, dies

On today’s date in 2002, George Stanley, the designer of Canada’s national flag, died at the age of 95.

In March 1964, Stanley – who was also an author, historian, soldier and teacher – wrote a formal four-page memorandum to John Matheson, a member of the multi-party parliamentary flag committee founded earlier that year, to suggest a design for the new flag. Noting the flag should be instantly recognizable with the use of traditional colours and simplistic design, Stanley also included a sketch with his memorandum.

The following January, after months of national debate, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed Stanley’s design as the country’s new flag. It was inaugurated at an official ceremony held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Feb. 15 of that year.

The Mint issued several other coins, including a $25 Fine silver coin (shown), to commemorate the national flag’s milestone.


In 2015, to mark the flag’s 50th anniversary, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a series of commemorative and circulating coins, including a 25-cent piece designed by Bonnie Ross.

The reverse of the 25-cent circulation coin features an illustration of Canada’s national flag surrounded by 50 children, each representing one of the flag’s 50 years as well as Canada’s future. The words “50 years/ans” also appear at the bottom centre of the design.

Of a total mintage of 12.5 million coins, 6.25 million were coloured and an equal number were non-coloured. They began circulating nationally as of June 9, 2015.

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