A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Our Canadian Maple Leaf Flag
Sunday, July 01, 2012

The blog below originally ran on March 19 2006. I feel that because today is Canada Day more should be aware on the little known history of our Maple Leaf.

The Donegal born Patrick Reid was first in his class from Sandhurst in 1944. As a young tank commander (even though he loved airplanes) in the North Irish Horse in Italy, he played polo on captured German Army horses during the lulls in the heavy fighting. He came to Canada in 1949.

When Lester Pearson called Patrick Reid, late in October 1963 to get the quagmired proposal for the new Canadian flag in some order, he did a quick vexillogical research and went home. He and his wife, Allison, agreed the flag should be identical on both sides and a child should be able to draw it. Designer Jacques Saint-Cyr reduced the original 23-point sugar maple leaf to 13. Reid suggested the axing of an additional two. The original prototype (on a bedsheet sewn up by Joan O'Malley) was delivered to Sussex Drive in Ottawa on November 8, 1964. The national flag of Canada was raised on Parliament Hill on Feb 15, 1965.

I have photographed Patrick Reid many times but my favorite photograph of him is this one I took in 1989 with a Mig 29. It always thrills me to run into him in Kerrisdale. It seems I am one of the few in on the secret: Reid is a living, walking designer of our national flag!

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Previous Posts
Noye's Fludde On A Gloomy Saturday Afternoon.

Three Christophers

A Powerless Maggie Langrick & Peter Birnie Takes H...

Xanadu, Jupiter & Hermes With False Eylashes

The Xalapa Chileros & The Deconstructed Poet

From Milan - Massimo Perego's Fine Stuff

Reading Solitude

The Persistence Of Memory

A Polish Photographer Amazes

Rosemary - The Snob In Our Garden



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