All of our printed Canada flags are produced by a process called Dye Sublimation. The system drenches each fibre of the fabric, resulting in a flag with wonderful precise colour, and vitally the design appears perfectly on each side. This is known as ‘printed through to reverse’ and is an important consideration when choosing your flag as both sides will be seen when flying.
The French were the early settlers in Canada and the flags of the time reflect this. When the British established a settlement in Nova Scotia the Union Flag started to be used. As the British presence increased across Canada the Great Britain Union flag was initially used until that in itself was replaced by the 1801 United Kingdom Union flag.
In 1867 Canada became a confederation and a new Canada flag was devised and used called the Canadian Red Ensign. This flag, and variations thereof, was kept until 1965 when the current maple leaf flag was adopted.
The Union Flag is still part of the constitution to reflect loyalty to the Queen but essentially it is now only really used for ceremonial purposes. The different variants are shown below.
Canadian Red Ensign
Although it was never formally adopted by the Canadian parliament, the Canadian Red Ensign was actually used as far back as 1868 until the present day maple design was approved in 1965.
Before the Canadian Red Ensign design was standardised in 1921 (see above) Flagmakers just made the badge a little larger every time a new province was added to the confederation. Without legal controls this meant that a large number of different flags were flown in Canada without any formal acceptance as to which was the right one.
The Canadian Red Ensign design is still used by two provinces – Manitoba and Ontario