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Army Flags, Canada

Last modified: 2016-08-06 by rob raeside
Keywords: canada | army ensign | chief of staff rank flag: canada | maple leaf | leaf: maple | swords: two |
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[Canada - Military Flag] image by Rob Raeside, 30 July 2016

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2016 Army flag

From http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/en/news-publications/national-news-details-no-menu.page?doc=new-canadian-army-flag-unveiled%2Fir7jr4fh#des

Ottawa, Ontario - The Canadian Army (CA) will advance into the future under a new flag that nods to 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 new design features the Canadian flag and a white, stylized maple leaf against a red background. Superimposed on the white maple leaf is the badge that members used during the Second World War and the Korean conflict, consisting of three maple leaves over a pair of crossed swords. Sitting atop the centre leaf is an image of St. Edward's Crown, a symbol that has been used in coronation ceremonies for over 300 years.

The maple leaf was worn on the collars of Canadian soldiers who fought in the Battle of Vimy Ridge during the First World War, and was included on the new flag to honour the 100th anniversary of the battle, which will be marked in 2017. The same maple leaf flew on the Headquarters flags of the fighting Divisions during the Second World War and still flies across Canada at the CA's various Division Headquarters.

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.

"These changes are collectively directed at promoting the military traditions that shape our Army," said LGen Wynnyk. "Our symbols and history increase the pride that each soldier feels in their trade and duty within the Canadian Army. Maximizing corps and regimental identity is key to our soldiers' 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's 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 CA flag will be featured at the Canada Army Run this September.

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

An infographic of Canadian Army flags described this flag as follows:
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.
Rob Raeside, 30 July 2016


1998-2013 Army flag

[Canada - Military Flag] image by Graham Bartram

The Land Forces Command of the Canadian Armed Forces has a new badge and flag. More information can be found at http://www.lfc.dnd.ca/english/organis/command/newbadge.htm
Chris Pinette, 16 April 1998

Canada has a new army flag (adopted 20 April 1998). It is white with the national flag in the canton. In the fly, there are two crossed swords, partially covered by a red maple leaf. Proportion 1:2, canton covers 25% of the flag area.
Jan Zrzavy, 20 April 1998

Canadian Mobile Forces (i.e., the Army) Camp Flag. This is a fairly recent change with a new badge in the fly. The new badge comprises crossed swords (with the same hilts as the CF badge) superimposed by a red maple leaf (a natural design with gold veins rather than the stylized national emblem). The flag is 1:2, white with the Canadian flag in the canton (quarter of the area) and the army badge centred in the fly.
Graham Bartram, 14 August 1999


1968-1998 Army flag

[Mobile Forces flag] image by Miles Li, 3 July 2009

Upon the unification of the three branches of the Canadian military into the Canadian Forces in 1968, all her strike 'bomber' aircraft (the CF-104 Starfighter, no less) were transferred from the air force (which became the Air Defence Command) to the land army (which became the Mobile Command). Obviously this awkward marriage of ground troops and supersonic jets did not last long, and the Mobile Command gave up all its aircraft to the Air Defence Command (hereafter the Air Command) in 1975. The Mobile Command was renamed the Force Mobile Command, without changing its symbol, and unofficially referred to as the 'Canadian Army', a reality finally acknowledged in 1997 when it was again renamed the Land Force Command.
Miles Li, 3 July 2009


Old Canadian Army Badge

[Old Canadian Army badge] image by Glen Robert-Grant Hodgins

The sprig of maple leaves is red; the swords gold; and the Crown is coloured as in the usual British/Commonwealth heraldic manner. Although Canadian Brigadiers continued to wear the Royal Crest as a cap badge right up until the unification of the 3 separate services, (i.e.., 1968), it is my understanding that the Canadian Army badge was "Canadianised" (i.e., altered to that shown in the gif), as long ago as the late-1940s. As I think is obvious, the Canadian badge remains true to its origins, while nevertheless asserting a distinctive Canadian identity: the secret of a successful heraldic (re-?)design.

PS: Although the Canadian Army badge shown in the image disappeared for a generation, I have noticed its (no doubt only quasi-official) revival on such things as the covers of certain Canadian Forces training manuals, which are aimed exclusively at soldiers.
Glen Robert-Grant Hodgins, 30 November 1998

This badge was re-adopted in the 2016 flag.
Rob Raeside, 30 July 2016


1957-1968 Army flag

[Canada - 1957] image by Clay Moss, 21 September 2014

This flag was also the national flag.


1944-1957 Army flag

[Blue Ensign of Canada 1922-1957] image by Clay Moss, 16 September 2014

This flag was also the national flag.


Chief of the Army Staff

[Army Chief of Staff] image by Jaume Ollé

Historical car flag for 1st Canadian Army commander and staff

[car flag] image located by T.F. Mills, 27 May 2015
Source: http://bcoy1cpb.pacdat.net/Flag_GOC_First_Cdn_Army_-_Crerars_jeep_flag.jpg

The 1st Canadian Army had a car flag for its commander and staff, which clearly served as the inspiration for the later Chief of the Army Staff. The red-black-red scheme was, in turn, clearly derived from the (British) Indian Army pre-war higher formations.
T.F. Mills, 27 May 2015


 
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