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Message from the Mayor: Celebrating the 50th anniversary of our national symbol

February 13, 2015 -

February 15 marks the 50th anniversary of the first raising of the Canadian flag over Parliament Hill in Ottawa. On this historic anniversary we proudly celebrate our national symbol and the local connection to its creation.

In 1964, with Canada's centennial celebration of confederation just years away, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson announced the creation of the parliamentary flag committee to adopt a distinctive national flag.  John Ross Matheson, a member of Parliament from Leeds, was a member of the committee and arguably the strongest advocate in the adoption of our national flag.

Kingston and the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) have a special connection to the creation of Canada's flag. George Stanley, dean of arts at Kingston's RMC, wrote to the committee suggesting our national flag take a cue from the college's flag. The RMC flag features two vertical red panels on either end and white centre panel featuring the coat of arms. Stanley suggested replacing the coat of arms with a single maple leaf. In time, and with the support of Matheson, Stanley's idea for a flag emerged in the familiar form we know today and it was adopted by Parliament.

Both Matheson and Stanley were instrumental in the design and adoption of our national flag. As we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the symbol of Canada, we pay tribute to the vision and dedication of these local leaders.

For more information, see www.cityofkingston.ca/explore/culture-history/history/city-hall

Bryan Paterson,
Mayor

About the City of Kingston

The City of Kingston provides municipal services to 120,000 residents living in this visually stunning, historic city, often ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. In 2014, it was named a Top 7 Smart Community by the Intelligent Community Forum. Our vision – to become Canada's most sustainable city – focusses our efforts on: environmental responsibility, social equity, economic health and cultural vitality. Please visit www.CityofKingston.ca and join the conversation on social media.

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For more information contact:

Mayor Bryan Paterson
613-546-4291 ext. 1405