Islanders gather to pay tribute to the Canadian flag, now 44 years old

Nancy MacPhee
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BORDEN-CARLETON, P.E.I. - It's a symbol recognized and respected the world over: a single red maple leaf on a white background, flanked by bold red bars.
On Sunday, about 50 people came to Borden-Carleton - the northern terminus of the Confederation Bridge - to pay tribute to Canada's flag, marking the 44th anniversary of its adoption.
"Wherever we go, people recognize that flag," said Lt.-Gov. Barbara Hagerman. "If we have it on our luggage when we're travelling in another country, they seem to treat us a little bit better."
In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson appointed a committee to select a flag for the country. Of the three choices put forward, the maple leaf design by George F. Stanley and John Matheson was selected.
"The flag is a very powerful symbol," said Celebrate Canada president Martha Ellis. "It reflects our home, our pride in this country and what our citizens have and continue to achieve."
The flag was first officially flown at noon on Feb. 15, 1965.
"To other nations, it represents a caring people, dedicated to human rights, freedom and tolerance," said Ellis. "To new immigrants, it's a symbol of hope and opportunity."

Geographic location: BORDEN-CARLETON, P.E.I., Canada

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