On today’s date in 1964, after nearly three months of debate, the House of Commons appointed a 15-member committee to study and recommend a new Canadian flag design.
The committee comprised seven Liberals, five Conservatives and one each from the New Democratic Party, the Social Credit Party and the Ralliement créditiste, another federal social credit party based in Québec. Over six weeks, the committee held 35 meetings while the public submitted more than 3,500 suggestions for the country’s new flag in what would become known as the “Great Canadian Flag Debate.”
Ultimately, a design by historian George Stanley was chosen for the new design after a 163-78 vote in the House of Commons.
On Jan. 28, 1965, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed the new flag, which was inaugurated on Feb. 15 of that year during an official ceremony held at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
2015 FLAG COINS
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 plus Canada’s future. The words “50 years/ans” also appear at the bottom center of the design.
Out of a total mintage of 12.5 million coins, half of them – 6.25 million – was coloured with the other half non-coloured. They began circulating nationally as of June 9, 2015.