Canada Symbols

Canada is a great and noble country, with a rich language of symbols and iconography. From the maple leaf on the flag to the beaver that represents much of Canada's start in the world, Canada has rich symbols showcasing its natural beauty and its history. While there are many more than those listed here, these are some of the best known and most closely tied to Canada's history and culture.

The maple leaf has been a symbol of Canada since the nation's birth. First adopted by French settlers in Canada, the symbol was quickly spread to the English-speaking regions of the budding nation as well. In fact, two colors of maple leaf - gold and green - came to respectively represent Ontario and Quebec. The leaf then became part of the Canadian coat of arms, along with multiple other official Canadian symbols. The maple leaf is a clear symbol of Canada's natural beauty.

Of course, the maple leaf is also a major component of Canada's flag, although this was not always true. Canada originally shared the Union Jack with Great Britain, only beginning work on a national flag much later. For some time a version of the British Red Ensign that added the Canadian Shield was used. Finally in 1964 a council was formed to try to create a truly Canadian flag, causing much debate - many people were in favor of keeping British elements in the flag, wanting to remain loyal, while more liberal and progressive forces wanted to create a truly unique flag. Finally, in 1965, the current design was decided upon and adopted. The ten points on the stylized maple leaf represent the ten varieties of maple tree native to Canada. Canada's flag is a declaration of its increasing ability to stand alone from Britain, as well as another celebration of its own culture and environment.

The beaver is considered Canada's unofficial national animal by many, and holds deep significance historically and culturally. Early Canadian settlements were often based around fur trading, especially beaver fur, and the animal therefore became a vital part of Canadian life. In modern times, the beaver appears on Canadian currency, postage, and more.

While Canada is fairly young still, already it has a diverse set of symbols in its iconography, all expressing Canada's vibrant environment, culture, and history. Some symbols hold multiple meanings, such as the maple leaf that both showcases Canada's forests and links Quebec and Ontario. All in all, Canada's symbolic language is truly beautiful.