Mr. Speaker, today Canadians will mark the 52nd anniversary of the Canadian flag.
Canada has known several flags throughout our history. At Confederation 150 years ago, the Union Jack was flown as our flag. At Vimy Ridge, and in World War II, our troops fought under different versions of the Red Ensign. The maple leaf was already a symbol of Canada dating back to the 1700's, from its use as the emblem of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society, to its place in Alexander Muir's patriotic song, the Maple Leaf Forever.
That maple leaf became the focus of the country's new flag in 1965. While the product of a divisive debate, for 52 years now, the maple leaf flag has been a unifying symbol, representing Canada and recognized the world over.
Canadians are modest about their patriotism, but hundreds of thousands of homes, including mine, proudly fly the Canadian flag today on National Flag of Canada Day, and every other day of the year.