True or False? The points of the maple leaf on the Canadian flag represent the provinces and territories.
In the years since the adoption of the current Canadian flag, many claim that the number of points (11) on the maple leaf it features have special significance, such as; representing each of the Canadian provinces and territories (one for each of the provinces, and one for the territories); they represent ten provinces and one country, or; Canada’s eleven governments (ten provincial and one federal). However, none of the claims are true.
More By Accident Than By Intention
Though not the first to submit a similar design, Alan Beddoe, a former lieutenant-commander in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War, was the graphic artist and heraldic expert who designed the first flag with a single maple leaf in the center and submitted it to the Flag Committee (created by Prime Minister Pearson that included George Bist, Alan Beddoe, Patrick Reid, George F. G. Stanley, John R. Matheson, Günter Wyszecki, Ken Donovan, and Joan O’Malley). However, the design that was selected as the Flag Committee’s recommendation isn’t quite the design that was ultimately adopted, for it bore a maple leaf with thirteen points. And the fact that the final version ended up as an eleven-point leaf was far more by accident than by intention.
Something Wrong With The Design
Hastily silk-screened, the original prototype had been hoisted up the flagpole at 24 Sussex Drive to greet then Prime Minister and Mrs. Pearson with their breakfast. But there was something wrong with the design. To figure out exactly what the problem was, and how to fix it, the committee met that evening at the headquarters of Patrick Reid, Director of the Canadian Government Exhibition Commission. Reid and his team were responsible for determining the precise parameters of the new National Flag of Canada.
Maybe It’s Too Busy
“Do you think maybe it’s too busy at the base?” Reid asked. “What would happen, for example, if you took away two of the four points?” So a member of Reid’s staff, Jacques St-Cyr, quickly modified the design and within an hour they had one that all approved of. They took the refined design to the silk-screen shop late that night, and the first eleven point designs were produced and flown the next morning. Prime Minister Lester Pearson gave the new flag his blessing, and Cabinet endorsed the design soon after.
And The Answer Is
Therefore, the answer to whether or not the eleven points of the maple leaf on the Canadian flag represent the provinces and territories is true or false, is that it’s false.