This Sunday, February 15th, marks the 50th anniversary of our Canadian flag. As we approach the 150th anniversary of confederation, it seems crazy that our flag has only been around for 50 of those years. This week in our homeschooling, I had my kids research the Canadian flag online and they did a short video with their stuffed animals in a debate over which flag design to choose. They learned that there was strong opposition to Canada adopting a flag of its own. They learned that Lester B. Pearson, Prime Minister at the time, fought against the opposition to push the flag through. They also learned that Pearson’s first choice for a flag was not the final choice; a good lesson in diplomacy.
I couldn’t resist telling them about the greatness of Lester B. Pearson and how he won the Nobel Peace Prize but that’s just me. I can’t imagine being Canadian without our flag or our national anthem, which didn’t become official until the 1980s. Learning about how recently our flag was adopted was interesting to the kids, and made them realize how “young” we are as a country. We have an old Usborne puzzle of the flags of various countries and I think we’ll pull it out this weekend.
I am reminded of one of my favourite games as a child – the Match II flag memory game that helped me learn the flags of many different countries.
I think we’ll do a bit of a unit study on flags of different countries over the next few weeks – I’ll let the kids pick the country they want to do and then research why they have the flag they do. They can learn why certain symbols and colours were chosen and how much a national flag helps national unity and pride.
When we studied South America last year as part of the Tapestry of Grace Year Three curriculum, they drew the flags of all of the countries there and they loved it. It really made the sense of independence come alive and helped them understand why so many have fought so long and hard for it.