The colours of Canada's Flag-red and white have roots deep in our history. Symbolically they represent strength and purity. Historically they are part of the tradition of both Canada's mother countries, France and England. Red was the colour of St. George's Cross; it was the colour of the oriflamme of Louis VI. It was also the colour borne by the French Crusaders in 1189. White was the colour given the English Crusaders at the same time. White was the colour of the field of St. George's Cross; it was also the colour of the banners borne by Joan of Arc. For a long time white was the colour associated with the early monarchs of France just as red was the colour of the early kings of England.
For well over a century, the maple leaf has been the symbol representing Canada. It matters little that maple trees do not grow in the Northwest Territories or on the western prairies-for that matter unicorns do not graze in the fields of England. What is significant is that Canadians from the four corners of our country have long looked upon the maple leaf as their symbol. They have seen it on the Coat of Arms of Canada; they have worn it on their uniforms; they have sung its glories.
Thus, by combining the historic colours of our mother lands with Canada's own national symbol, our flag was made. The new flag is the symbol of our pride, our independence and our destiny. It is now the focus of our loyalty to our great northern land.
The following words by Franklin Lane are applicable to Canada's new flag:
"I am whatever you make of me, nothing more. I am your belief in yourself, your dream of what a people may become ... I am the day's work of the weakest man, and the largest dream of the most daring . . . I am the clutch of an idea, and the reasoned purpose of resolution. I am no more than you believe me to be and I am all that you believe I can be. I am whatever you make of me, nothing more."
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