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Canada - Fact Sheet

Last modified: 2024-06-01 by rob raeside
Keywords: canada |
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National flag and Ensign
[Flag of  Canada]

Queen's Personal Standard
[Queen's standard for Canada]

[Governor General flag - 1981 to 1998]

See also:



The Canadian Flag (colloquially known as The Maple Leaf Flag) is a red flag of the proportions two by length and one by width, containing in its centre a white square, with a single red stylized eleven-point maple leaf centred in the white square.

The colours red and white used in the Canadian flag are the same as those colours used in the Union Flag (of the UK). Red and white are the national colours of Canada since 1921 (when they were proclaimed by King George V on the recommendation of the Canadian Government). The heraldic description of the Canadian National Flag is : Gules on a Canadian pale argent a maple leaf of the first.1

Queen's Personal Standard for Canada

The Queen's standard is a banner of the arms of Canada in the quarters in the upper two thirds of the flag. These are: I, England (three leopards or (gold) in a gules (red) field); II, Scotland (a gules (red) lion in or (gold) field with something around it with fleurs-de-lis); III, Ireland (a or (gold) harp in an azure (blue) field); IV, France royal (three fleurs-de-lis or (gold) in an azure (blue) field). On the bottom field of the arms, are three maple tree leaves in a argent (silver) field). In the center of the flag, there is a big E in the center.2


On the Governor General's flag, there is only a lion with a crown on his head. His red tongue is out (lampasse de gueules in French) and his claws are red (arme de gueules). It is a "lion passant" (sideways), of course, like the English lion.

The red maple leaf he is holding in his right paw has yellow vein lines in the middle. The cloth he is standing on is white-red-white-red-white-red. The field is dark blue.3

Protocol Order

The flag of highest rank, is that of the Sovereign, who is also head of the British Commonwealth. Her flag is flown only on her places of residence and when at official functions within Canada. Other members of the royal family may be represented by their flags when in residence or on official duties in Canada, and then only the flag of the highest ranking royalty present.

Next in rank is the Governor-General, who is the Queen's representative. His flag is flown at residence and office and when on official functions. Similarly, there is the standard of the Lt. Governor, whose flag has highest rank in each Province. The rules governing the display of the Governor-General's flag apply here as well.

The order of next rank is the Canadian flag itself.4

Adoption Date and related information

The Canadian National Flag was adopted by the Canadian Parliament on October 22, 1964 and was proclaimed into law by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (the Queen of Canada) on February 15, 1965.5

State arms

[Coat of Arms of Canada]

Colour of the flag

I found two sources for the colors:

There are values for normal use and for illustration on screens (with Pantone colors), the second is lighter red than the first.

Other sources for colors:
The Flag Manual - Beijing 2008 gives Pantone color: RMS 485 (red).

The Album des Pavillons 2000 [pay00] gives approximate colors in Pantone and CMYK systems:
Red: Pantone 193c, CMYK 0-90-70-10
Yellow: Pantone 116c, CMYK 0-10-95-0
Dark blue: Pantone 287c, CMYK 100-70-0-10
Blue: Pantone 293c, CMYK 100-55-0-0
Light blue: Pantone Process cyan, CMYK 100-0-0-0

Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 [loc12] gives Pantone color: PMS 032 (red).

The Album des Pavillons 2023 already specifies the colors of the flags in three color systems.
Blue: Pantone 287c, CMYK 100-84-26-6, RGB 0-53-128
Blue: Pantone 293c, CMYK 94-73-0-0, RGB 0-71-182
Blue: Pantone 2201c, CMYK 74-7-11-0, RGB 0-174-214
Red: Pantone 485c, CMYK 6-94-96-0, RGB 218-41-28
Yellow: Pantone 116c, CMYK 0-21-93-0, RGB 255-204-0

Vexilla Mundi gives colors in Pantone system: PMS 199C (red), PMS White.

Wikipedia gives various color shades for printing ink that should be used when reproducing the Canadian flag based on Department of Canadian Heritage list, then gives the colours 0/100/100/0 in the CMYK process, PMS 032 (flag red 100%), or PMS 485 (used for screens) in the Pantone colour specifier can be used when reproducing the flag. For the Federal Identity Program, the red tone of the standard flag has an RGB value of 255-0-0 (web hexadecimal #FF0000).

Flag Color Codes gives the following color values:
Red: Hex. # D80621, RGB 216-6-33, CMYK 0-90-76-0, Pantone 032, RAL 3028
White: Hex. # FFF FFF, RGB 255-255-255, CMYK 0-0-0-0, Pantone N/A, RAL N/A

Zoltan Horvath, 30 April 2024


1Peter Cawley, E-mail dated 25 May 1995.
2João Madureira, E-mail dated 28 April 1998
3Jean-Luc Baronian, E-mail dated 1 May 1997
4Phillip Nelson, E-mail dated 18 June 1998

Artistic credits:

Flag of Canada by Martin Grieve
Queen's Personal Standard by Graham Bartram
Governor General by Zach Harden and Graham Bartram
Coat of Arms by Kevin Wharton

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