the above mentioned complete research, is the final stage of the selection
process as follows: "On 8 September 1964, telling Pearson and Diefenbaker
they and their parties had acted "like two old bulls in a pasture butting
their heads together," Tommy Douglas, leader of the New Democratic Party,
hoping a solution could be found "before we do irreparable damage to
parliament and to confederation," called for an all-party committee to
review and report on the flag issue. This proposal was accepted and by 10
September, 15-member committee was formed.
The committee eventually
divided the designs into three main types: one-leaf designs, three-leaf
designs and those containing the
fleur-de-lis and Union Jack in
some combination. The field was narrowed to one flag of each type.
29 October, after 45 meetings, several votes were taken: adoption of the Red
Ensign as the national flag was defeated 10 to 4; having a national
plebiscite on the flag issue was rejected; the committee was unanimous in
its determination to bring before Parliament its recommendation on a single
In another vote, both designs containing maple leaves were
retained: the Union Jack/fleur-de-lis design was rejected.
the choice between "Pearson's pennant" and the maple leaf flag. Assuming the
Liberals on the committee would support Pearson's choice, the Conservative
members voted in favour of the single maple leaf. The initial outcome was 14
to 0 for the maple leaf flag, with one abstention. A second, confirming vote
was taken and the maple leaf flag passed, 10 to 4.
The debate had not
ended entirely: on 9 December 1964, Leon Balcer broke Conservative party
ranks to ask for closure. On 11 December, Conservatives brought in one more
motion asking for the adoption of the Red Ensign; it was defeated 162 to 80.
The final debate came on 14 December and at two o'clock on the morning of 15
December 1965, the bill adopting the new Canadian flag was passed.
Parliament adjourned with MPs singing "O Canada."" Sources:
"Heritage Minutes: Flags" (
"MP John Matheson, a member of the parliamentary committee to choose a
national flag, surveys the many designs proposed for consideration (1965)."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikY7bMDVQTg). A very interesting
reply to this article is seen by Robert J. Harper, on August 21, 2016:
"Although most of the information here is correct, there are several
inaccurate pieces. John Ross Matheson did not chair the Flag committee, he
was a member of the committee and was the person most responsible for
bringing our Canadian Maple Leaf Flag to fruition. The second piece is Dr.
George Stanley made a suggestion to John Ross Matheson which is a recycled
concept from a memo written on February 8th 1919 by Major-General (later
Sir) Eugene Fiset who suggested the emblem of Canada be ” a single red maple
leaf on a white field with red bordures (armorial bearing) The actual design
team was made up of George Bist (proportions) Jacques St. Cyr (creator of
the stylized maple leaf as we see it today)) Dr. Gunter Wyszecki (NRC team
who developed the Scientific Standard colour of red. John Ross Matheson,
Patrick Reid and Jacques St. Cyr overseen the final creation and design on
November 9th 1964."