53. 1921 1922 The Coat of Arms and the Red Ensign

Not clothing, nor fashion, however, the Red Ensign was cloth and Canadian.

The original Canadian Red Ensign was authorized for use by Canadian-registered merchant ships by an Admiralty warrant, issued on 2 February 1892 and bore the coat of arms issued in 1868, containing the arms of Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on the half furthest away from the flagpole (the fly)

Several designs were unofficially produced before and after 1892, including those bearing the coats of arms of all the provinces in Confederation at that time (and not just the original four provinces) or depicting the arms surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves, or maple and oak leaves, surmounted by a beaver, or topped by a crown with a wreath of roses, thistles and shamrocks.

The Canadian Red Ensign was lowered from atop the Parliament Buildings and replaced by the Union Jack during a period of imperial ascendancy brought on, in part, by the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign (1897) and by the South African War (1899).

Even though the Union Jack was still flying in Canada during the First World War, the Canadian Red Ensign was often seen, and recognized abroad, being carried by Canadian soldiers.

Following the authorization of a distinctive Canadian coat of arms in 1921, an order-in-council was issued on 26 April 1922 authorizing it to be the device placed on the Canadian Red Ensign — making this the second official design of the flag.

This would remain the same until October of 1957, when the Canadian government made a change to the Canadian coat of arms, altering the colour of the three maple leaves depicted, from green — as introduced in the 1921 arms — to red, in keeping with the national colours (red and white). The new arms were also depicted on the Ensign — its third, and final, official design.