Today I love the Canadian flag. I love its elegant design: the national symbol rendered in red, on a white background, with red bars on either side. And that’s all. It’s spare without being too simple -- compare to the indistinguishable jumble of cross-on-a-background and nothing-but-stripes flags you see in Europe. The Canadian flag’s colors are basic and you can recognize it immediately. It’s a clean, square-jawed, common-sense kind of flag, which is my impression of the Canadian people themselves.
From a design standpoint (that is, nothing to do with politics or national pride) I like the Canadian flag better than the US flag. The Stars and Stripes is not a bad design, but for my taste it is a bit busy and overly freighted with symbolism -- 50 stars for the 50 states! Thirteen stripes for the 13 colonies! The red represents the blood spilled in the Revolution! Et cetera! Remember when you were a kid trying to draw the American flag, and you couldn’t get all the stripes the right width, or get all fifty stars in the blue field, let alone in the right pattern? But I bet Canadian kids can draw their flag, albeit with lopsided maple leaves.
In defense of Old Glory, I will say that it beats out the Mexican flag, which has nice colors, but I can’t stand the cluttery coat of arms in the middle.