New Canadian Naval Ensign Adopted by RCN
Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced the adoption of a new Canadian Naval Ensign to be worn by Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships, naval vessels, Naval Reserve Divisions, and other designated units starting Sunday, May 5.
This is an historic moment for the Royal Canadian Navy, which flew the White Ensign from 1911 until the adoption of the National Flag in 1965, according to the RCN.
From that point onward, the National Flag was adopted as both the Ensign and the Jack. In 1968, as part of efforts to emphasize the importance of military ensigns and flags, while also reflecting the new National Flag, a distinctive Naval Jack was adopted by the Canadian Armed Forces. The Naval Jack incorporated the Maple Leaf in the canton with a badge in the fly of the flag.
Today, the flag previously known as the Naval Jack is adopted as the new Canadian Naval Ensign, and the National Flag becomes the new Naval Jack, which mirrors a standard practice amongst Commonwealth nations. The change will most importantly distinguish Canadian warships from other Canadian flagged vessels. It will also promote and strengthen the Canadian naval identity, while underscoring the unique commitment of our men and women at sea who serve as members of the Canadian Forces in RCN ships and vessels.