Toronto Mike

How Ontario Got That United Kingdom-ish Flag

How Ontario Got That United Kingdom-ish Flag

In Toronto, we're getting Simcoe Day off on Monday, but it's not Simcoe Day everywhere in Ontario.

Civic Holiday may also be known by one of a number of local appellations such as Mountie Day in North York, Colonel By Day in Ottawa, George Hamilton Day in Hamilton, Joseph Brant Day in Burlington, Founders' Day in Brantford, McLaughlin Day in Oshawa, Alexander Mackenzie Day in Sarnia, James Cockburn Day in Cobourg, Peter Robinson Day in Peterborough, and John Galt Day in Guelph, as well as numerous other names in smaller municipalities.

Speaking of Ontario, our flag is awfully British.  Allow me to demonstrate and then explain how this came to be.

This is the United Kingdom Union Flag they've been using since 1801.


This is the Canadian Red Ensign flag Canada was using before 1965.  You'll notice it has the Union Flag in there as a nod to our motherland.


But in 1965, PM Pearson lobbied for a flag without the Union Jack, a symbol of our independence.  This ticked off Diefenbaker who was rather fond of the Red Ensign.  This familiar red maple leaf became Canada's new flag:


Diefenbaker wasn't the only one upset we lost the Union Jack.  Ontario Premier Robarts wanted Ontario to adopt a new flag that restored this history, so Ontario got this flag with the good 'ol Union Jack featured prominently.


And that's how Ontario's flag came to look so damn British.

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