British Columbia, 1871
Date of Issue
June 15, 1979
Series Time Span
Perforation or Dimension
Designed by Raymond Bellemare.
Canadian rarely savour their own national achievements. It is surprising because few countries can match them. Starting in l867 with four small provinces, Canadians peacefully went about building the world's second largest nation. In the process, east was linked to west with a remarkable network of railways and canals, quite an achievement for the small, agricultural Canadian population. Vision, drive and inventiveness of the type required to accomplish feats such as these have overcome the difficulties of climate and terrain to give most Canadians a standard of living unknown in many parts of the world. Though our material accomplishments are notable, our spiritual achievements are finer, still. While the oppressive instruments of dictatorship have snuffed out liberty in many other countries, Canada has always endeavoured to enhance freedom of the individual. Indeed, Canadians have died by the thousands to preserve democracy in those places where it still flourishes. Considering what little respect most humans have for people of different races, cultures and religions, and considering the strife this causes elsewhere, Canada shines as an enviable model of tolerance and goodwill. Is it any wonder that the arts prosper here, that less fortunate people long to live here and that Canadians, through foreign aid, have shared their good fortune with the underprivileged and dispossessed. In the years ahead, it will be difficult to survive in a world dominated by competing superpowers and near superpowers. It will require struggle and strain to eliminate our society's imperfections. But as these 12 stamps remind us, a country with the strength of unity behind it, and a country with a record as outstanding as ours, can face the future with confidence. The designs for the flags which appear on these stamps follow the tradition and conventions of heraldry, which itself is a type of shorthand for describing visual symbols. The designer of the stamps, Mr. Raymond Bellemare of Montreal, has based his fresh graphic interpretation of the flags on the official written heraldic descriptions. The flags of the provinces appear in the established order of precedence for Canada, followed by the territorial flags in alphabetical order.
Canada. Post Office Department. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1979.
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