PMO, Statement by Prime Minister of Canada on National Flag Day

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Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on National Flag Day

February 15, 2013
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement today to mark National Flag of Canada Day:

“The Canadian flag is a symbol of peace, freedom, diversity and the strength of our nation”.

It proudly identifies our citizens and our accomplishments. It is worn proudly by our Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan and around the world, is frequently seen above the podium at the Olympics, and can even be found in outer space.

“Today, I am honoured to receive a Canadian flag that has been to space, from Canadian astronaut Dr. Dave Williams who participated in missions aboard the space shuttles Columbia and Endeavour in 1998 and 2007, respectively, and to present him in turn with a Peace Tower flag.

canadian flag“This flag is a reminder to me of how Canadians continue to push the limits of human knowledge and how we are active members of international efforts to explore outer space – from our astronauts playing key roles in NASA missions, to the unique Canadarm that has been used so effectively to build and repair in space, to astronaut Chris Hadfield who is currently in space and will soon assume command of the International Space Station – the first Canadian ever to do so.

“In the years to come, the Canadian flag will continue to symbolize great moments in our nation’s history and to inspire a fierce sense of pride in our citizens.

Our flag will also continue to mean home and belonging for Canadians around the planet and beyond, and I am proud to present Dr. Dave Williams with a Peace Tower Flag to thank him for being an exemplary role model to all Canadians.”

February 15 was declared National Flag of Canada Day in 1996.

To celebrate this important day in Canadian history, each year the Prime Minister presents the Peace Tower flag to a Canadian who has represented the values our country holds most dear.

Canada Adopts Maple Leaf Flag (1965)

By the 1960s, Canada had been an organized dominion for a century and an equal, autonomous partner of Britain for decades. Consequently, its British-derived flag had become the subject of intense controversy. Following the Great Flag Debate of 1964, Canada’s Parliament considered several possible designs before choosing the red-and-white maple leaf flag. In what foreign conflict had the previous flag’s design, which incorporated the Union Jack, caused trouble for Canadian peacekeeping forces? More…

The Prime Minister’s Office – Communications

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