Ottawa, Ontario - February 15, 2018

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement to mark National Flag of Canada Day:

“Today, I join Canadians across the country and abroad to celebrate the 53rd anniversary of our national flag.

“On this day 53 years ago, the National Flag of Canada was raised for the first time over Parliament Hill, in communities across the country, and in Canadian diplomatic and consular missions around the world.

“A single red maple leaf has come to represent the values we hold dear as a society – freedom, generosity, openness, and respect – and the promise of an entire country.

“Through their dreams, sacrifices, and hard work, generation after generation of Canadians have given meaning to the Maple Leaf. Over the past week, we have watched some of these Canadians, on slopes and rinks, reach the top of the Olympic podium and hoist our flag high.

“The Maple Leaf is a source of pride, but it also challenges us. While we have come a long way since the Maple Leaf flew for the first time, our work is not finished. Every day, we must make a conscious choice to live up to our values and the spirit of our ideals, and strive closer to a country that empowers every Canadian, no matter their background or where they are from.  

“This year, as National Flag of Canada Day falls during the 2018 Winter Olympics, I invite Canadians to cheer on our Olympic and Paralympic athletes and honour the Maple Leaf that brings us all together.”