Happy Canada Day!

Pearson pennant
Queen’s University Archives. John Ross Matheson fonds 2131-26
Petrie flag
Queen’s University Archives. Petrie flag F5-B1
Prototype Canadian flag on cheesecloth
Queen’s University Archives. John Ross Matheson fonds 2131

In preparation for Canada day we present a number of the flags we have in our holdings at Queen’s Archives. The names of Mr. John Matheson, along with Dr. George Stanley, are well known in the story of the evolution of the Canadian flag – and both of them were Kingstonians. Mr. Matheson was one of the strongest supporters of a new flag and played a key advisory role to Prime Minister Pearson. Dr. Stanley was Dean of Arts at the Royal Military College in Kingston, and it was he who brought to the attention of the flag committee the fact that the Commandant’s flag at RMC — an emblem of a mailed fist, on a red and white ground — was impressive. Presented here (from top to bottom) are: the Pearson Pennant (the design favoured by the Prime Minister); an early prototype of the flag which was eventually picked with some alterations (note the thirteen-point leaf); and a silk screened prototype which Matheson was given of the final flag (though one additional change was made, can you spot the difference?).

Queen's Archives

Queen's Archives regular column on Kingstonist showcases our city's rich history via assets sourced from their vast collection. Their contributions stimulate dialog regarding the places, people and events that have shaped Kingston. Learn more about Queen's Archives...

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