Jun 29, 2013

Canada Facts

Canada is the world's second-largest country by total area, and its common border with the United States is the world's longest land border. It has ten provinces and three territories located in the northern part of North America. It extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific, northward into the Arctic Ocean (just south of Greenland), and borders on the south with The US. Its capital is Ottawa and its population of about 35 million is about one tenth the size of the US population. The top five largest countries in order are: Russia, Canada, China, United States, Brazil.

The current Canadian flag is less than fifty years old. On December 15, 1964 the Canadian Parliament voted to accept the current maple leaf design. The official flag was hoisted for the first time February 15, 1965. Two years later, Canada celebrated its 100th anniversary and used the occasion to promote the new flag.

The maple leaf design by George Stanley and John Matheson is based on the flag of the Royal Military College of Canada. February 15 is now celebrated annually as National Flag of Canada Day.

Canada is a federal state governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. However, Canada has complete sovereignty as an independent country and the Queen's role as monarch of Canada is separate from her role as the British monarch or the monarch of any of the other Commonwealth realms.

The Canada Act of 1982, among other provisions formally ended the British parliament having power to pass laws extending to Canada at its own request.

In 1958, a US high school student, Bob Heft designed the current US flag for a class project and received a B- grade. He also designed a flag with 51 stars, just in case. The current US flag has been used since July 4, 1960.