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Unity preserved for the present on 50th anniversary Flag Day

February 15, 2015 - CANADA

Canada's maple leaf flag, a symbol of federal unity, turns 50 at a time when Ottawa can take a breather from the issue of Quebec separatism.

The province held an election in April 2014, when the ruling separatist Parti Québécois lost to the Liberal party in a poll regarded as a referendum on another referendum. Quebec separatism is deeply rooted in Canadian history, but separatist referendums failed in 1980 and 1995.

Britain's Guardian newspaper noted that with upward of 70 per cent of eligible voters casting their ballots in the April election, the rejection of the province's largest separatist party was extreme.

Canada's current red and white maple leaf flag was officially hoisted for the first time on 16 Feb 1965. It replaced the Red Ensign. The anniversary was declared National Flag of Canada Day in 1996. A Canadian of merit will be honored on the Flag Day 2015. The late Olympic freestyle skier Sarah Burke was the 2014 recipient.

NDP reaffirms \'50 plus one\' enough for Quebec secession talks (CBC 6 Sep 2012)

Quebec separatism (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Quebec remembers 1st referendum (CBC 20 May 2010)

Sarah Burke honoured on Flag Day 0:48 (CBC 14 Feb 2014)

Quebec\'s separatist movement is dead in the water (Guardian 9 Apr 2014)

Date written/update: 2015-01-19