This flag became the official flag of Canada on Feb.15, 1965. The Canadian Parliament debated the flag issue for 33 days. It has an 11-point red maple leaf (Canada’s national symbol) in a broad white center stripe, with a broad vertical red stripe at each end. Prior to this flag, Canada used the Red Ensign, which included the British Union Jack, as its national flag. However, in the debate over greater French recognition in Canada, the new flag would not contain any reminders of Canada’s ties with Great Britian.