At the beginning of the 20th. Century Canada was still a self-governing dominion within the British Empire, but as the country evolved into an indepentent state, suggestions for the development of its own honours sytem grew. However, there was little early incentive to move beyond the simple policy decision that Canadian citizens could not accept British awards, like British orders and aristrocatic titles.
However, limited steps towards creating Canadian military awards were taken in the middle of the last century, beginning with a few medals during the Second World War. After the war the Canadian Forces Decoration was created, which was awarded for military service and exemplary conduct.
In 1972 the ‘Canadian Honours System’ was extended and the criteria for awarding and receiving an award were examined. One new guiding principal for military honours is that proposals for new awards are always made in consultation with the Canadian Forces. Since than all the new awards and announcements are judged critical by the ‘Canadian Forces Honours Committee’.
The present flag of Canada was officially adopted in 1965. The colours white and red and the maple leaf already were in use as from 1921.