The Royal Canadian Mint has launched (4th July) new silver Proof coins which perfectly blend two of the county’s most beloved and internationally recognised national symbols, Canada’s national anthem and its flag. The country’s anthem and flag are forever linked in terms of their place in Canadian history. The now-familiar flag, resplendent with a centrally placed red maple leaf on a white field and red panels, was adopted on the 15th February 1965. The new flag replaced the previous version that had come into prominence when British North America came together as the Canadian Confederation in July 1867. 31 years later, the Canadian government declared that the 15th February would be celebrated as National Flag of Canada Day. The 11-point maple leaf is instantly recognisable, but many do not realise that Canada’s flag design is also symmetrical. This means that if the flag were folded from one red bar to the other, both halves would be exactly the same.
Canada’s national anthem has a very interesting history inasmuch as the song did not exactly originate as a national anthem.
Originally commissioned by Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, Théodore Robitaille, for the 1880 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony, the song was authored by poet and judge, Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier, in French with the music scored by Calixa Lavallée. An English translation was published in 1906 with multiple English versions being publicised over the years. The version written by Robert Stanley Weir in 1908 gained the most degree of popularity, which eventually served as the basis for the official lyrics enacted by Canada’s Parliament. “O Canada” had served as a de facto national anthem since 1939, but would not officially become the country’s national anthem until 1980 when Canada’s National Anthem Act received royal assent and became effective on the 1st July, as part of that year’s Canada Day celebrations.
The coin is designed by Tony Bianco, who cleverly uses words as art, as they are arranged on the design to outline and form the design of Canada’s national flag as it flaps in the breeze. Upon closer inspection, the iconic red bands and 11-point maple leaf are shaped by the English and French lyrics to “O Canada” with colourised micro-lettering. The precise technology used ensure that every letter is defined in spite of its diminutive size. The reverse also includes the engraved word CANADA and the face value, 20 DOLLARS.
The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which was created by Susanna Blunt and has been used on all Canadian circulation and many commemorative coins since 2003.
|$20||.999 Silver||31.3 g||38 mm||Proof with applied colour||10,000|
Each coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon custom case and is accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity. For additional information on this coin and other coins available from the Royal Canadian Mint, please visit their website.