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11 Rejected Canadian Flag Designs

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Here's a fun fact: Canada didn't have an official national flag until February 15, 1965. A not-so-fun fact: choosing one caused a huge divide in both public and political opinions, and the matter had to be settled by cloture in the Canadian House of Commons. 

Until the red and white "Maple Leaf flag" we all know was adopted, Canada used the Canadian Red Ensign, which features a Union Flag and the Coat of Arms of Canada. But most Canadians weren't happy flying the Red Ensign. A poll in 1958 showed that 80% of the people wanted a distinct Canadian flag, and 60% of those would like that flag to bear a maple leaf. By the time Lester B. Pearson was elected Prime Minister in 1963, the "flag problem" was big enough to become a party platform. Pearson promised a new flag within two years. 

Since pretty much everyone agreed that the flag should have a maple leaf somewhere, that part wasn't really a problem. The debate was really over whether or not Canada should ditch the Union Flag in its new design, thereby minimizing ties to the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries like Australia. The debate went on for months, and even after Pearson forced Parliament to stay in session over the summer, an agreement couldn't be reached. A special flag committee was called; they would have 6 weeks to find a new design.

The committee dusted off the suggestion box and invited ordinary citizens to submit their vision of a brand new flag. Of the total 3541 submissions, 2136 bore maple leaves, 408 the Union Jack, 389 had a beaver, and 359 contained fleurs-de-lys. (Some managed to work in all four.) In the end, a simple red maple leaf design by Colonel George F. G. Stanley would win... but not before beating out some tough competitors.

1.

The biggest loser in the Great Canadian Flag Debate was the prime minister himself. Though Pearson had called for a new design and pressured Parliament to make a decision, his favored flag was voted against 14-0 in favor of Stanley's winning banner. The so-called Pearson Pennant was criticized intensely and the subject of hundreds of editorial cartoons and running jokes. An Alberta newspaper asked local readers to write in with their thoughts. One response: "I don't like the three maple leaves on the white background... the single maple leaf looks better. As I am only 10 [I] will have to look at it longer than Mr. Pearson."

2.

The description for this busy little number is as complicated as the design itself:

The top green strip portrays in the background the Rocky Mountains of the West and the Laurentians of the East....The second strip of yellow gold depicts the growing grain for which Canada is famous...The third strip describes untold numbers of rivers and thousands of lakes...the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Arctic....The coats of arms of the ten provinces which make up Canada are in the shape of an arc and depicts its beginning and origin. Even the shape of the arc has a meaning - freedom, better life and individualism for all those who want to make Canada their new country.

3.

"What the heck, let's turn it sideways. And let's put all the things on there, while we're at it."

4.

There's always someone who just can't be serious.

5.

I wish the committee had selected this flag, which comes without a description but looks like it might be saying "SOON."

6.

This aurora-inspired flag is one of the more interesting pieces received in that it ignores all of the conventional Canadian symbols in favor of a fascinating natural event. But it looks a bit like a wave, and also like a leaf, and it never garnered much support: this design didn't even make it to the semifinals.

7.

This is just one of hundreds of similar designs; if one sample had to sum up the majority of proposals sent in by the public, this would be the one.

8.

Canada geese, which are a nice change of pace.

9.

This looks something like a shoe company logo, but was apparently intended to "represent the unity of Canada."

10.

This one comes with a sternly-worded history lesson, and then multiple choices for reworking the design if that's not what the special flag committee had in mind.

[Indians were] here 20,000 years ago, getting along peacefully until the White races came and stole nearly all they own. THEY ARE THE TRUE CANADIANS . If you don't care [for] the Indian head, have a beaver, a Buffalo's head - or 4 maple leaves - in light green (spring) - dark green (summer) - yellow (fall) - red (winter): The Four Seasons. 1 maple leaf in each corner.

11.

This design was sent in by one Jennifer Robinson. An accompanying note indicates that the artist was 6 years old at the time of its rendering. The design was removed from the flag committee's files so it could be placed in the art holdings in the Canadian National Archives.

All images are from Library and Archives Canada and The Images of a Country.

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Food
New Café Geared Towards Deaf Patrons Opens in Bogotá, Colombia
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At Sin Palabras Café Sordo, a trendy new watering hole in Bogotá, Colombia, patrons can dance, play games, enjoy exhibitions and performances, and grab a drink. But while ordering from the menu, they use their hands to communicate. Sin Palabras Café Sordo—which translates to No Words Deaf Café in English—is the South American nation’s first-ever bar designed to accommodate workers and customers with hearing impairments, according to The Nation.

Located in Bogotá's Chapinero neighborhood, Sin Palabras Café Sordo has both deaf servers and menus written in sign language. Customers sit at small tables and flick on a tiny lamp to signal a bartender over to order a drink. When patrons hit the dance floor, they’re greeted by large screens playing music videos with lyrics in sign language, and a pulsing floor that allows partiers to keep in time with the beat.

A trio of Bogotá entrepreneurs—Maria Fernanda Vanegas, Cristian Melo, and Jessica Mojica—teamed up to launch Sin Palabras Café Sordo in June 2017. None of these co-owners is deaf, but Vanegas told The Nation that their goal is “for us, people who can hear, to adapt to the deaf, and not the other way round, which is always the case.” Keeping with this theme, the bar has small cards to teach non-hearing-impaired customers some basic phrases in sign language. (Visitors who don’t know enough sign language to order off the menu can point to items they want, or write them down.)

Business has been so good for Sin Palabras Café Sordo that Vanegas and her co-owners might establish even more café locations around Colombia, according to Lonely Planet. That said, they aren’t the first ones to launch a business that caters to customers with hearing impairments: Granada, Nicaragua recently became home to Café de las Sonrisas (“Smiles Cafe”), a restaurant that employs only deaf cooks and servers, and similar establishments have opened in Canada and India. And in the U.S., there are restaurants like San Francisco’s deaf-owned and -operated pizzeria, Mozzeria.

[h/t The Nation]

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Big Questions
Why Do Small Dogs Live Longer Than Large Dogs?
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Why do small dogs live longer than large dogs?

Adriana Heguy:

The issue of body size and lifespan is a fascinating topic in biology. It’s strange that across species, at least in mammals, large-bodied animals live longer than small-sized animals. For example, elephants live a lot longer than mice. The theory is that
bigger animals have slower metabolisms than small animals, and that faster metabolisms result in more accumulation of free radicals that damage tissue and DNA. But this doesn't always hold for all animals and the “rate of living” theory is not widely accepted. What we cannot clearly understand remains fascinating.

But now if we look at within a given species, lifespan and body size are inversely correlated. This is definitively the case for dogs and mice, and it has been proposed that this is the case for humans, too. Why would this be? A possible explanation is that larger dogs (or mice, or people) grow faster than their smaller counterparts because they reach a larger size in more or less the same time, and that faster growth could be correlated with higher cancer rates.

We do not have a clear understanding of why growing faster leads to accelerated aging. But it seems that it is an accelerated rate of aging, or senescence, that causes larger dogs to have shorter lifespans than little dogs.

The figure above is from Ageing: It’s a Dog’s Life. The data is from 32 breeds. Note that the inverse correlation is pretty good, however some large dog breeds, at around 40 to 50 kg (or about 88 to 110 pounds), live 12 or 13 years in average while some other dog breeds of equal body size live only eight or nine years on average. This is due to dogs being a special case, as they were artificially bred by humans to select for looks or behavior and not necessarily health, and that considerable inbreeding was necessary to produce “purebred” dogs. For example, boxers are big dogs, but their higher cancer rates may result in a shorter lifespan. However, the really giant breeds all consistently live eight to nine years on average. So there is something going on besides simple breeding quirks that led to bad genetics and ill health. Something more general.

A few years ago, a large study [PDF] was published using mortality data from thousands of dogs across 74 breeds, testing three hypotheses: Large dogs may die younger than small dogs because of (1) an earlier onset of senescence, (2) a higher minimum mortality hazard, or (3) an increased rate of aging. The conclusion from their study is that aging starts more or less at the same age in small and large breeds, but large breeds age faster. We do not have a clear understanding of the underlying mechanism for faster aging in dogs. It seems that when we selected for large body size, we selected for faster aging as well. But we do not know all the genetic components of this. We know that there are at least three genes that determine large body size in dogs: IRS4 and IGSF1, involved in thyroid hormone pathways which affect growth, and ACSL4, involved in muscle growth, and back fat thickness.

But how this accelerates aging is still speculation. More studies are needed, but dogs seem to be a great model to study the evolution of body size and its relationship to aging.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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