Last modified: 2013-07-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: maple leaf | garland: maple leaf | canada: governor general | canada:lieutenant governors |
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Sometimes called a "wreath" but that is just an alternative name for a "garland".
Garlands around badges emblazoned in the centre of Union Jacks were instituted by an Order in Council of 7th August 1869.
"... Union Jack to be displayed by the Military Branch of your Majesty's Service on such occasions shall bear in the centre thereof, as a distinguishing mark, the Royal Initials surrounded by a garland on a blue Shield, ....".
The accompanying drawing shows a garland, similar to the sort of wreath/garland worn on the head as a sign of honour in Classical times. This was changed in 1874 to a simpler design; clusters of three leaves alternating with two red berries, tied at the base with a blue ribbon.
There were one or two attempts at individuality.
I think they were just proposals and not approved for use.
A maple leaf garland tied with a gold ribbon was authorized for the Governor-General of Canada by the Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1870. This was extended to Lieutenant-Governors of Canadian Provinces. (Not Newfoundland which did not become a Province of Canada until 1949 and as far as I know retained the laurel garland until 1987 when the current blue Lieutenant-Governor's flag was adopted).
Other variations of the garland, until the flag was abolished, or replaced by a blue flag with a royal crest and scroll.
There are significant errors in two major flag books.
Flag of Stars, F.Cayley 1966. Double error. Shows the seven-point star in a laurel garland as the flag of the Governor General, thirty years after it was replaced by the Royal Crest on a blue flag.
Admiralty Flag Books 1889 and 1907. No indication that the garland on the flag of the Governor-General of Canada is other than standard laurel-leaf until the 1916 edition.
David Prothero, 4 December 1999