Vessels sailing under Canada's flag are required to have on board this flag as part of flag state requirements that derive from maritime regulations in the International Code of Signals and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. These codes are published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as an ongoing effort to reinforce maritime safety procedures and communications to the international maritime community. Fleet management companies and ship owners are responsible to ensure that each vessel in their respective fleets have the appropriate flag signage onboard to be in compliance. This flag is used to identify the flag state a vessel is sailing under and to communicate with other vessels under the provisions of the International Code of Signals.
In 1965, after much debate, the current Canadian flag was adopted. The flag features a vertical white bar serving as the background of a red maple leaf. This is flanked by two vertical red bars.
The maple leaf was Canada's symbol since the early 1700's when the sap of maple trees was discovered as a food source. It also adorns the military uniform of Canada's soldiers.
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