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Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign is a former flag of Canada, used by the federal government though it was never adopted as official by the Parliament of Canada. It is a British Red Ensign, featuring the Union Flag in the canton, defaced with the shield of the Coat of Arms of Canada.

The original Canadian Red Ensign had the arms of the four founding provinces on its shield. However, in the late 19th and early 20th century, flag manufacturers would often supplement this design with laurel wreaths and crowns. The design was frequently placed on a white square or circle in the flag's fly (right hand side assuming the flagpole to be on the left). There was no standard design for the Red Ensign until 1921 when the Government of Canada asked King George V to order a new coat of arms for Canada.

From 1921 until 1957, the shield in the Canadian Red Ensign contained green leaves. From 1957-1965 a modified design was used. The Red Ensign served until 1965 when it was replaced by today's Maple Leaf Flag.

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