Canada’s national flag is just fine. I really like this one. I might’ve made the red bars a little narrower, because (typical of Canadian flags) it’s pretty wide, but I certainly can’t do better.

Happy Canada Day, eh!

In general, national flags are pretty good, because most of them either date back to an ancient time when people instinctively went for iconic designs, or they’re modern enough that this aesthetic has come back. Plus, they’re high-profile enough that someone usually takes the trouble to do it right. Canada’s is a pretty modern flag – adopted in 1965 – so it falls into the latter group.

It replaces a god-awful 19th-century design that breaks the rules of good flag design into tiny pieces, by combining the tiny pieces of other flags. The “Canadian Red Ensign” committed the popular imperial sin of shoving the Union Jack – itself already a messy, compound flag – into the canton. It supplemented this fuck-up with a shield that combines symbols of… deep breath… England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and… a red three-maple-leaf thing that was used sometimes to identify Canada. Someone had the good sense to pick that out and focus on it it (a strategy I’ve taken with some of my flags here), and promote it into a national flag.

(Next, I do the United States, and get banned from my own country.)

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