What Do the Colors of the Canadian Flag Represent?

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The Canadian flag displays a red-white-red pattern, with the red symbolizing the Canadian lives sacrificed during world wars and the flag’s white denoting Canada’s peace and tranquility, as well as its neutrality and impartiality among nations. This historic color pattern appeared on Canada’s General Service Medal issued by Queen Victoria.

George Stanley’s maple leaf design for Canada’s flag is similar to the flag of the Royal Military College of Canada. The Canadian flag made its first official appearance on February 15, 1965. That date is now celebrated annually as National Flag of Canada Day. The red maple leaf in the center of the flag was first adopted as Canada’s national emblem in 1860 for decorations celebrating the Prince of Wales’ visit. King George V named red and white as Canada’s official colors in 1921.