Keep the cold air..but send more of the good beer....
The Birth of the Canadian Flag
The search for a new Canadian flag started in earnest in 1925 when a committee of the Privy Council began to research possible designs for a national flag. However, the work of the committee was never completed. Later, in 1946, a select parliamentary committee, appointed with a similar mandate, called for submissions and received more than 2,600 designs. Still, the Parliament of Canada was never called upon to formally vote on a design.
In October 1964, after eliminating various proposals, a specially struck Senate and House of Commons Committee was left with three possible designs: a Red Ensign with the Union Jack and with the Shield of the arms of Canada, a design incorporating three red maple leaves with blue bars (Pearson's preference!), and a red flag with a single, stylized red maple leaf on a white square with red bars.
The names of Mr. John Matheson and Dr. George Stanley were, even then, well known in the story of the evolution of a new Canadian flag. Mr. Matheson, a Member of the House of Commons from Ontario, was perhaps one of the strongest supporters of a new flag and played a key advisory role. Dr. Stanley was Dean of Arts at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario and brought to the attention of the committee the visual of the Commandant's flag at the College, a red and white combination that bore a strong sense of Canadian history. (Red and white had been proclaimed Canada's national colours by King George V in 1921) Stanley's own design was a single red maple leaf on a white field with two red bars.
In due course the final design of the stylized maple leaf was established by Mr. Jacques St-Cyr, the precise dimensions of red and white were suggested by Mr. George Best, and the technical description of the precise shade of red was defined by Dr. Gunter Wyszchi.
The committee eventually decided to recommend the single-leaf design. It was approved by resolution of the House of Commons on December 15, 1964, followed by the Senate on December 17, 1964, and proclaimed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, to take effect on February 15, 1965.