Arcade has a great piece on the creation of the Canadian flag as we currently know it, spurred by an effort to distance themselves from Britain during a political crisis in the 50’s.
In the summer of 1964, with construction of the groundbreaking Montreal Expo underway, a new national symbol was seen as key to the modernization of Canada. The creation of a new flag was meant to be a truly public and participatory process in which citizens were invited to take part in the profound reshaping of their country’s national image.
I found it fascinating that their flag was designed so recently. In my mind flags have such a provenance and iconic nature that they seem like they’ve been around forever.
Below is my favorite rejected flag design. I love the simplified version of the maple leaves, the gaggle of geese, and the Japanese aesthetic it embodies. In fact, when you do a Google Image Search of the image you see primarily Japanese sumi ink paintings. Anyone know who created this version?