Canada was nearly 100 years old before it officially adopted the maple leaf as its national symbol. The debate over what design truly represented the country raged on for decades—in the pages of newspapers and within the House of Commons. Canadians were even invited to submit their own flag suggestions to a multi-party flag committee, and the government received thousands of prospective designs.
The Maple Leaf was raised on Parliament Hill for the first time on February 15, 1965. Here are some designs it beat.