Maple Leaf

The maple leaf is the most widely recognised national symbol of Canada.  At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the settlements located in New France had adopted the maple leaf as an emblem for French Canadians along the Saint Lawrence River.  Its popularity with French Canadians continued and was reinforced when, at the inaugural meeting of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste in 1834, the maple leaf was one of numerous emblems proposed to represent the society.  

In 1868 it was included in the coat of arms of both Ontario and Quebec, and was added to the Canadian coat of arms in 1921.  Historically the golden maple leaf represented Ontario and the green maple leaf represented Quebec.  In 1867, Alexander Muir composed the patriotic ‘The Maple Leaf Forever’.  Finally in 1965 it became the national symbol with the introduction of the Canadian flag. 

Tartans in the record are asymmetric or non-reversing designs.  Some are of unknown origin but the main tartan is understood to have been designed by David Weiser, Director of Highland Queen Sportswear.  It is a registered trade design in both Canada and the UK; rights held by Rotax Ltd.  The pattern incorporates the green of the leaves’ summer foliage, the gold which appears in early autumn and the red which appears in advance of the first frost.  Brown denotes the fallen leaves.