Canada's current flag was passed by the House of Commons on this day in 1964. A seemingly simple issue, the campaign to change the national flag from the British-inspired Red Ensign to something made by the Canadian people for the Canadian people split society.
Conservatives led by then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker tried to put the issue to rest by not doing anything about it. They preferred the Red Ensign. But Liberal Party leader Lester Pearson put the promise of a new flag in his 1963 election platform, and when he won that election, set about trying to find a new flag for his country.
Thousands of Canadians submitted their own drawings, hundreds of speeches for and against changing the flag were made, and emotions ran high. But on December 15, 1964, at 2 A.M., the House of Commons voted in favour of what is perhaps the defining symbol of Canada, the Maple Leaf flag.