Friday, June 25, 2010

National symbols

When you think of Canada, what is the first symbol that pops into your mind? The flag? The maple leaf? The beaver? The Canada goose? Hockey? The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, has taken up a challenge during this week leading up to Canada Day to find out what Canadians think should be the symbols that represent our country.

Here's an excerpt from the article:
Canadians don’t like to be rushed, it seems. And we don’t like anyone feeling left out or ignored. So we choose our national symbols slowly and often, after much debate.
For a long time, Canada has had an official coat of arms, motto, and royal symbols. But the country didn’t have its own flag to fly until almost a century after Confederation. It took three tries by parliamentary committees, starting in 1925.
O Canada became the official anthem in 1980, a full century after it was first sung. This was five years after the beaver was given the coveted official animal designation. It was only in 1996 that the maple tree was officially recognized as a Canadian symbol. In 2002, the Canadian horse won official status as a symbol.
Canadian horse? I didn't even know such a think existed. Maybe we really are in need of some new symbols. The Globe and Mail's survey attempts to find answers in five categories: If Canada had a national animal, what would it be?, What should be Canada's national plant?, What should be Canada's national dish?, If Canada had a national uniform, what would it be?, and Which team would best represent Canada? If you want to participate, take the five-question survey and vote for your top choices.

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