The Canadian Flag & Languages Spoken In Canada: What You Need to Know

You don’t have to know about a lot of cultures to recognize the Canadian Flag, probably one of the best-known national symbols of this North American country. 

Canada is one of the countries that has less rigid immigration policies that make it easier to welcome students, professionals and, in general, people of foreign origin who wish to reside in this world destination. 

If you are interested in living in Canada , knowing the history and culture of this country will be essential to have context about the history and meaning of one of the most common symbols: the Canadian Flag 🇨🇦, known in English as The Maple Leaf 🍁 (the maple leaf). 

In addition, if you are a foreigner and you plan to naturalize in Canada , one of the requirements to obtain permits to be a citizen of this nation is to prove, through an exam, that you have the essential knowledge about the culture of the country, including data about its history and most representative symbols.

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Despite the fact that the Canadian Flag is a relatively young symbol, at least in comparison with other representative flags of countries, it has accumulated little more than half a century of history that is worth knowing, especially if you want to live an experience of cultural exchange in Canada more enriching or if you are a curious person or wanting to be more educated. 

Do you want to start your journey through the history and meaning of the Canadian Flag? Let’s go for it!

History of the current Flag of Canada

The Flag of Canada, as we know it today, was officially established in 1964 , following an election by the parliamentary committee after considering a few thousand designs submitted by Canadian citizens. 

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The need to renew the national flag arises from a controversy motivated by the design of the previous Flag of Canada, which in turn carried the Union Jack flag of the United Kingdom . This detail was not to the liking of the Francophone population of the country. 

This is how its creators, George FG Stanley, historian; and John Matheson, lawyer and politician, both war veterans and united by a love of heraldry and history, begin to rethink a new design for the national flag.

One day, while walking through the Royal Military College of Canada, they found the right option after being inspired by the flag of this institution. 

Both concluded that if the Canadian Flag was reminiscent of the design of the Royal Military College, it would be to the liking of the generation that fought in World War II.

Meaning and origin of the parts of the Canadian Flag

As you know, the design of the Flag of Canada consists of three stripes: two lateral ones of red color and a central one of white color with approximately twice the width . 

In the center of the white stripe is a large red maple leaf that has become one of the most representative symbols of Canada and for many, the quickest way to recognize this flag with the naked eye. 

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Each part of the Canadian Flag has a meaning of historical origin that we will review below: 

red stripes

The red color of the stripes that you can see on the sides of this Canadian symbol refers to the cross of Saint George (patron saint of England), which was the emblem of the first flag that was flown in Canada and until the day of today it continues to be part of the Flag of England and several flags of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

center white stripe

This stripe represented in white refers to the French royal emblem used since the reign of Charles VII.

In addition, along with red, white is another of the colors present in both the French and English flags, key nations in Canadian history. 

maple leaf 🍁

The eleven-pointed maple leaf that appears right in the middle of the Canadian flag is, without a doubt, the most significant symbol to have emerged in Canadian history.  

The maple leaf, as a symbol of Canadian identity, was born in the 19th century and was everywhere in popular culture: books, songs, coins, badges, graphic advertisements and many other everyday objects.

In addition to representing all of Canada’s nature and environment, many citizens consider it a shared symbol of pride, courage and loyalty , considering that during the First World War, it was used as a cap insignia by members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force until it became the most recognized emblem of the nation. 

6 curiosities about the Canadian Flag

If for you it is not enough to know the basics of the history, design and meaning of the Canadian Flag, you are the typical curious person and you always want to investigate a little further, then we will share with you a series of curious facts about the famous maple leaf flag. 

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All these facts, in addition to being very interesting, can help you look like the smartest of your friends in any meeting or exchange with foreigners: 

  • The maple leaf so characteristic of the Canadian flag has a number of points that does not match that of any of the ten different varieties of maple that grow in Canada. This is not only due to a need for simplification on an aesthetic level, but also with the aim that no region of the country would come to take the leaf as its own and that all the territories would identify with it. 
  • The connection between Canada and the maple leaf is so emotional throughout history, that it is even the symbol carved on many of the tombstones of the Canadian service men and women who gave their lives during both world wars.
  • As it is a flag with a much more modern and recent history, the Government of Canada invested in campaigns and promotions designed to raise the visibility of this symbol and promote the use of the flag among its nationals and institutions to the maximum. Not all Canadian citizens have welcomed these types of campaigns and on more than one occasion, they have created controversy after being considered a waste of public money. 
  • Unlike many country flags that we will see in history, the Canadian Flag is distinguished by not having any law or official regulation that regulates its good or bad uses. Although there are ministerial guidelines, Canadian citizens are free to use this flag where, when and how they want. 
  • The creators of the Canadian Flag used wind tunnels to choose the most recognizable maple leaf at any distance, with the strongest wind and in different adverse conditions, so it has a very remarkable aerodynamics. 
  • As you have been able to notice throughout history, the Canadian Flag has always made a direct or indirect allusion to the relationship of this country with England and France. 

Conclusions on the flag of Canada 

Surely by now you have more information about the Canadian Flag than you knew at the beginning, even though you have had this symbol in front of you on multiple occasions. 

Now is your turn!

Do not keep all the knowledge for yourself: take advantage of these new learnings about the meaning of the Canadian Flag to share them with the rest of the world, surprise with the curious facts that surround this flag and even, in case you have plans to become a Canadian citizen, succeed in the Canadian knowledge test. 

What languages ​​are spoken in Canada?

Have you thought about living or traveling to Canada? If so, one of your first questions will most likely be what languages ​​are spoken in Canada and how to prepare yourself to face the linguistic challenges that this great destination presents. 

In recent years, the Canadian immigration system has been recognized as one of the friendliest with students, professionals and expatriates from different parts of the world, who go to Canada to fulfill their goals, start a new life and even learn a new language.

However, one of the commonly requested requirements to successfully enter the country, for reasons beyond tourism, is to know at least one of the languages ​​spoken in Canada , so that you can guarantee a smooth social and cultural integration. 

What languages ​​are officially spoken in Canada? Are there minority languages? How do they differ from other languages ​​we already know? Are there other countries where they are useful? All these questions will be answered below. 

Official languages ​​spoken in Canada

Canada is known around the world for being an officially bilingual country, made up of two official languages: 


The Anglo-Saxon language is one of the two main languages ​​of the Canadian territory, being the mother tongue of more than 77% of the population and the language that around 86% of the inhabitants speak fluently . 

A very common doubt is whether the English spoken in Canada is different from the English of British or American origin; however, its spelling is sometimes described as a mixture of both, the vocabulary is more similar to the English of the United States and the variations of lexicon of single use in Canada are very specific depending on the context.


The next official language of Canada is, of course, French, established by legal decree since July 1969. 

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Today, French is the mother tongue of approximately 9 million Canadians, that is, 23% of the population of this country.

Minority languages ​​of Canada

In addition to the official languages ​​that coexist in the country, there are a number of minority languages ​​that are spoken in the country thanks to the constant migratory movement that has been experienced in the nation for years. 

The minority languages ​​that do not have official recognition in Canada, but are still spoken daily by thousands of inhabitants of the Canadian territory are: Spanish, Italian, German, Cantonese, Punjabi, Arabic, Dutch and Tagalog. 

In what other countries are the official languages ​​of Canada spoken?

Due to the colonizing past of countries such as France and the United Kingdom , those who speak the two official languages ​​of Canada can communicate fluently in the official language of many countries on different continents. 

On the one hand, English, in addition to being a language spoken by more than 1,130 million people in the world, has been called the official language in more than 70 countries around the world.

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