New Canadian Army flag unveiled

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Article / July 29, 2016 / Project number: 16-0189

Note: For a written description of the infographic click here

Ottawa, Ontario  — The Canadian Army (CA) will advance into the future under a new flag that reflects its proud past.

The flag was unveiled July 14, 2016, during a ceremony on Parliament Hill in which CA members welcomed their new Commander, Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk.

The flag traces the evolution of the CA’s identity, reinforcing the link between the brave veterans of Afghanistan and the Cold War period with the heroes of First and Second World Wars and Korea.  In doing so, the new design reflects the Canadian Army of today while respecting tradition by combining elements from several past Canadian Army flags.

The white stylized maple leaf was worn on the collar of the majority of the soldiers who fought up Vimy Ridge to victory in the First World War and it remembers all Great War soldiers as we approach that national centennial.  This same maple leaf flew on the Headquarters flags of the fighting Divisions of the Second World War and it remains a vibrant symbol today, flying on our Army’s Division Headquarters across Canada.  Superimposed on the white maple leaf is our Canadian Army badge worn during Korea and during the Second World War symbolizing Canada’s victories and sacrifices in 1939-45. 

“These changes are collectively directed at promoting the Corps traditions that shape our Army.  Our symbols and history increase the pride that each soldier feels in their trade and duty within the CA,” declared LGen Paul Wynnyk.  “Soldiers fight for their regiment and Corps. Maximizing that regimental and Corps identity is key to their personal and collective esprit de corps.” 

The Canadian Army name was restored in 2011 following several decades in which all three military branches were known collectively as the Canadian Armed Forces. The CA Divisions and Corps began restoring their identities in 2013 and there have been several additional restorations of Army badges and rank designations since.

The new Canadian Army flag will be featured at the Canada Army Run this coming September.

By Pat Bryden, Army History and Heritage and Caroline Fyfe, Army Public Affairs with files from Steven Fouchard, Army Public Affairs

Written description of the infographic

1. Banner at top of infographic

At the top of the infographic is a black banner with white lettering. It includes the bilingual Canadian Army logo. It reads “Canadian Army” on the left and “Armée Canadienne” on the right. In the centre of the text are three white maple leaves over two crossed swords with a white crown above the centre leaf. On the far right of the banner is a white oblong surrounding white text reading: Strong. Proud. Ready. Forts Fiers. Prêts.

2. Text following banner: Canadian Army Flag

The new Canadian Army Flag is a horizontal rectangle with a red background. In the upper left quarter of the main flag, there is a small Canadian flag with red vertical borders on either side of a red maple leaf on a white background. This small flag is bordered with a gold line. The remainder of the main flag is red with a white stylized maple leaf on the right half of the flag. Within the white maple leaf are three red maple leaves over a pair of crossed silver swords with gold handles. Above the central leaf is a red and gold crown.

3. Text following main flag: Past flags of the Canadian Army   

Underneath the main flag in the infographic, there are four small flags in a horizontal line. These show past Canadian Army flags. There are dates underneath each flag.

4. First flag from the left

The first flag from the left was in use from 1944 to 1957. It is a horizontal rectangle with a red background. It has a red, white and blue Union Jack located on the upper left quarter. The Union Jack has a red cross outlined in white stretching from top to bottom and from side to side as well as two red lines outlined in white that diagonally intersect the centre. Eight blue triangles of varying sizes are created within the design made by the red and white lines. On the right side of the flag is an emblem featuring five sections, each with a symbol.

5. Second flag from left 

The second flag from the left was in use from 1957 to 1968. It is almost identical to the first one except the three maple leaves shown in the bottom section are red instead of green.

6. Third flag from left

The third flag from the left was in use from 1968 to 1998. It is a horizontal rectangle with a red background. In the upper left quarter of the main flag, there is a small Canadian flag with red vertical borders on either side of a red maple leaf on a white background. This small flag is bordered with a gold line. The remainder of the main flag is red with a diamond-shaped emblem on the right half of the flag. The emblem has a red maple leaf in the centre with four blue arrows pointing outwards from the centre. The emblem has a white background and is outlined first in red, then in white.

7. Fourth flag from left

The fourth flag from the left was in use from 1998 to 2013. It is a horizontal rectangle with a white background. In the upper left quarter of the main flag, there is a small Canadian flag with red vertical borders on either side of a red maple leaf on a white background. On the right side of the flag is a single red maple leaf on top of a pair of crossed silver swords with gold handles.

Note no change to the official Canadian Army flag was made from 2013 to 2016.

8. Bottom banner

At the bottom of the infographic, there are two wide horizontal lines, one dark and one light green. Below that is a wider border that is black. In the centre of these lines and extending slightly above them is the Canadian Armed Forces logo with “Canadian Armed Forces” at the top and “Forces Armees Canadiennes” at the bottom. On the lower left is the logo for National Defence consisting of a red Canadian flag symbol on a black background with bilingual white text. On the far right is the Canada wordmark consisting of the word Canada in white with a Canadian flag above the final letter “a”.

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