The Images of a Country
Saskatchewan Council for Archives & Archivists
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The response to the flag debate was overwhelming. Canadians from across the country wrote to express their views to their MPs and to Lester Pearson, John Diefenbaker and Tommy Douglas; the editorial pages of newspapers were filled with commentary on the flag question.

In one two-day period, over 221 letters concerning the flag arrived at John Diefenbaker's office alone. By the time the debate ended, his office had received over 7 linear feet of material.

In addition to their letters and petitions, Canadians by the thousands drew up their own ideas for a distinctive new flag. Many wrote hoping their design might provide the "honourable compromise" necessary to help end the debate some feared would irreparably divide the nation.

Original: watercolour; no address

[This design] gives the flags of Quebec and the Jack equal space and prominence - and the Maple Leaf at the bottom will, I think, satisfy the "alien" element. Canada is a complex of ten autonomous areas. This fact should be given expression. The discs do this - they could be replaced by stars. Anyway - it would make a lovely flag, and one that would denote the racial and ethnical origins of the peoples of Canada. It might suggest a way out of the impasse at present. I give it for what it is worth.

"In Miami they call it Dora - here we call it the Flag Debate"

Len Norris - The Vancouver Sun; 10 September 1964

Original: printed; Quebec, August 1964

A project for a Canadian flag showing our origins and representing our different ethnical groups; WHY NOT?

Original: pencil crayon; Quebec, 1 August 1964

The fleur-de-lis is to remember...the French...The green leaf is our emblem...The brown beaver is [to show] that Canada is a working country with progress.

Original: pencil crayon; no address; n.d. No description given



 2003 Diefenbaker Canada Centre Archives