The Maple Leaf as the National Icon of Canada

The History of the Icon. Growing Popularity. The Maple Leaf on the Canadian Flag. The adoption of the maple leaf as an important Canadian symbol. Coming of the first European settlers. The maple leaf on the coins. The popularity of the maple leaf.

Рубрика География и экономическая география
Вид реферат
Язык английский
Дата добавления 09.07.2013
Размер файла 12,7 K

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Міністерство освіти і науки, молоді та спорту України

Полтавський національний педагогічний університет імені В.Г. Короленка

кафедра англійської філології

«The Maple Leaf as the National Icon of Canada»

Полтава - 2011

The maple leaf, pictured in the middle of the Canadian flag, has a long history as a symbol in Canadian culture. It is because of this history that the people chose the maple leaf as the symbol of their society despite the maple tree's main concentration in the eastern part of the country. The maple leaf wasn't chosen at random. In fact, the adoption of the maple leaf as an important Canadian symbol dates to 1860, when the prince of Wales was visiting Canada. The English wore their traditional roses, the Scots wore their traditional thistles, and Canadians needed something to wear as well, so they chose a maple leaf.

The History of the Icon

maple leaf canadian

Before the coming of the first European settlers, Canada's aboriginal peoples had discovered the food properties of maple sap, which they gathered every spring. According to many historians, the maple leaf began to serve as a Canadian symbol as early as 1700.In 1834, the St. Jean Baptist Society made the maple leaf its emblem. In 1836, Le Canadien, a newspaper published in Lower Canada, referred to it as a suitable emblem for Canada. In 1848, the Toronto literary annual The Maple Leaf referred to it as the chosen emblem of Canada. By 1860, the maple leaf was incorporated into the badge of the 100th Regiment (Royal Canadians) and was used extensively in decorations for the visit of the Prince of Wales that year. Alexander Muir wrote The Maple Leaf Forever as Canada's confederation song in 1867; it was regarded as the national song for several decades. The coats of arms created the next year for Ontario and Quebec both included the maple leaf.

The maple leaf today appears on the penny. However, between 1876 and 1901, it appeared on all Canadian coins. The modern one-cent piece has two maple leaves on a common twig, a design that has gone almost unchanged since 1937.

During the First World War, the maple leaf was included in the badge of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Since 1921, the Royal Arms of Canada have included three maple leaves as a distinctive Canadian emblem. With the proclamation of Canada's new flag in 1965, the maple leaf has become the most-prominent Canadian symbol. In 1939, at the time of World War II, many Canadian troops used the maple leaf as a distinctive sign, displaying it on regimental badges and Canadian army and naval equipment. In 1957, the color of the maple leaves on the arms of Canada was changed from green to red. Why red? Red and white were proclaimed the official colors of Canada in 1921 by King George. Their significance goes back to the ancient heraldic traditions of the United Kingdom. White represents peace and honesty, and red represents hardiness, bravery, strength and valor.

On February 15, 1965, the red maple leaf flag was inaugurated as the National Flag of Canada.

Growing Popularity

The popularity of the maple leaf continued, and in 1834, Jacques Viger, the first mayor of the city of Montreal, called it "the king of our forest; ... the symbol of the Canadian people." Then, in 1848, the Toronto literary annual, fittingly titled "Maple Leaf," called the leaf the chosen emblem of Canada.

At a public meeting in 1860, it was decided that native-born Canadians would wear a maple leaf badge as a symbol of their country of origin during a visit from the Prince of Wales. Hundreds of people wore the badges during a public procession welcoming the prince, and the grand ball held in his honor was decorated with wreaths of maple leaves.

The maple leaf appears in military. In 1860, after the public had adopted the maple leaf as its symbol for an official visit of the Prince of Wales, the Canadian regiments in the British military incorporated the symbol into their official uniforms. During both World Wars, the Canadian military continued that tradition and many Canadian regiments donned the maple leaf as a distinctive symbol on their uniforms and badges.

The maple leaf and music. In 1867, Alexander Muir wrote "The Maple Leaf Forever" as the song meant as the anthem of the Canadian nation. Though the country was young, the song remained the anthem for several decades and is still an important Canadian patriotic song.

The maple leaf on the coins. Between 1876 and 1901, all Canadian coins carried the symbol of the maple leaf. Though that tradition was discontinued in the early 20th century, the modern-day Canadian penny is still decorated with the emblem.

What Does the Maple Leaf on the Canadian Flag Represent?

The Canadian flag was adopted by the Canadian Parliament Oct. 22, 1964, and the official inauguration ceremony took place Feb. 15, 1965. Ever since, the maple leaf has been a symbol of Canadian pride. Unlike provincial flags or territorial flags, the maple leaf represents unity across the entire country- regardless of birthplace. It is an inclusive symbol, and by removing the association with the Union Jack on the old flag, the maple leaf has become a symbol of Canada's nationality and independence.





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