The flag of Canada consists of a red field with a white square at its centre, positioned inside which is an 11 pointed red maple leaf. Due to this distinctive design feature, the Canadian flag is sometimes referred to colloquially as the "Maple Leaf". It is the first and only flag designated by the Parliament of Canada as the nation's official flag.
The present day flag of Canada was first adopted on February 15 1965 (now the official flag day of Canada) following extensive public debate surrounding a change from the previous flag designs which recognised Canada's links to Great Britain. Becoming known as the "Great Flag Debate", Prime Minister Lester Pearson formed a committee which put forward three designs, out of which the present day flag was chosen. The flag was designed by George Stanley.
The maple leaf has been regarded as a symbol of Canada since sometime in the 18th century. The maple leaf was added to the Canadian coat of arms in 1921 and has appeared on Canadian coins and military badges amongst many other prominent public displays. The number of points on the Canadian flag's maple leaf is not believed to have any particular signifiance. Red and white are the official colours of Canada - red recognising the Saint George's Cross and white recognising France.
The flag of Canada flies