Fifty years ago today, George Stanley's design was approved by Parliament for use as Canada's national flag. Stanley, an historian, based his design in part on the flag of his employer, the Royal Military College of Canada. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia,
"Stanley's inspiration had actually come from the Royal Military College flag — two red vertical stripes bookending a white centre on which an armoured fist holds three maple leaves beneath a royal crown. Stanley simply replaced the centre elements with a stylized maple leaf.
A more professional drawing of Stanley's crude sketch was eventually made, to be included among the many designs being considered by the committee, which had become deadlocked on the matter. As pressure mounted, Stanley's design won out, partly thanks to [Liberal MP John] Matheson's backing, but also because of its simplicity; it afforded a compromise between those who wanted the Pearson Pennant and those who favoured either more complicated designs, or the Red Ensign."
Despite its approval by Parliament, the flag was not officially flown until February 15, 1965.
To learn more about "the Stanley Flag," check out this link.