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  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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50th Anniversary of the National Flag of Canada


Message from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston,
Governor General of Canada, on the Occasion of
the 50th Anniversary of the National Flag of Canada

February 16, 2015

OTTAWA— Fifty years ago—February 15, 1965—thousands of Canadians gathered on Parliament Hill to watch as our country’s flag was hoisted high and flew for the first time.

General the Right Honourable Georges P. Vanier, Governor General of Canada at that time, was one of those thousands there that day. As the frigid February winds whipped across the red maple leaf, General Vanier called that new flag a symbol of the unity of purpose and high resolve that would further shape our Canadian culture. What that day, those words and, most of all, that flag represented was then—and remains now—unmistakeable. From that day on, we would think bigger and reach further than ever before.

On this 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada, I ask you to consider what you will do to continue reflecting the values of unity, inclusion and generosity that our flag embodies.

David Johnston

The Governor General participated in a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada, at Confederation Park, in Ottawa, on Sunday, February 15, 2015. For more photos and information on this event, please visit the Photos section on our website.

We also invite you to visit the Department of Canadian Heritage website for additional educational resources on the National Flag of Canada Day.

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