Flag Protocol

History of Flags of Canada

1533 - Flag of Royal France - raised by Jacques Cartier
Late 1500's - St. George's Cross carried by John Cabot
1606 - Union Jack in Newfoundland
1621 - Union Jack in Nova Scotia
1801 - Present Union Jack
1867 - Red Ensign
1904 - Union Jack
Feb. 15, 1965 - National Flag of Canada.

The National Flag of Canada is a red flag of proportions two by length and one by width, containing in its centre a white square the width of the flag with a single red Maple Leaf. King George V on November 1921, declared Red and White as official colours for Canada. As early as 1700 the Maple Leaf was regarded as the emblem of Canada.

Carrying a Flag

To carry a flag, gather the fly (the side of the flag which flies freely)in your right hand and hold it along with the pole at face height. Your knuckles should face outward.

Flags should be carried with reverence. Never let flags touch the ground, trail in the water or be left unguarded when not cased.

Colours at Camp

Flags are raised at sunrise and lowered at sunset no matter what the weather. At any time during the day when all campers are away from the campsite the flag must be lowered.

If flying more than one flag the Canadian Flag must be at the top.


The colour party consists of a flag bearer and two escorts. The flag is carried folded flat on open palms. The escort on the right attaches strop to one end of halyard with a sheet bend. The left escort attaches the other end of the halyard with a clove hitch to the toggle. Escort on the right raises the flag briskly.

During the singing of the National Anthem the flag is held at the top of the mast and secured to the pole with a clove hitch after the National Anthem. The colour party does not join in the singing of the National Anthem, but remains at attention. Current practise in Canada all stand at attention but do not salute.

Lowering the Flag

Colour party reassembles at flagpole. A whistle is blown to signify flag is to be lowered. Everyone within sight stands at attention. After lowering another whistle is blown. Flag is untied, folded and put away.

Folding the Flag