In 1964, the Canadian government, responding to intense, public, nationalistic debate, decided to have its own flag - one that would replace the flag bearing the British Union Jack, a version of which first appeared in 1868 and was redesigned in 1921. The design then-Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson desired had blue bars, signifying “sea to sea” (Canada’s motto). It was not as favoured by others, so Pearson assigned a 15-member team to come up with a new design. The version we use today was created by Canadian historian and author George F.G. Stanley, and was approved by the committee by unanimous vote. An earlier version of the maple leaf flag had the maple leaf slightly more slender and angular. It was finally tweaked and became the flag we know today. Though many citizens still disapproved (one even threatened to kill Stanely), George Stanley was confident that after one generation, Canadians would accept the flag. Happy Canada Day!