The maple leaf became the central national symbol with the introduction of the Canadian flag (suggested by George F. G. Stanley and sponsored by M.P. John Matheson) in 1965, which uses a highly stylized eleven-pointed maple leaf, referring to no specific species of maple. Earlier official uses of a maple leaf design often used more than 30 points and a short stem. In 1957 the maple leaf colour on the Cdn. Arms was changed from green to red - some maple trees (Red Maple in Canada) have leaves that are red in spring & thus aren't symbolized as dying leaves. The one chosen is a generic maple leaf representing the ten species of maple tree native to Canada—at least one of these species grows natively in every province. The maple leaf is currently used on the Canadian flag, logos of various Canadian-based companies (including Canadian subsidiaries of foreign companies and small businesses with only local operations) and the logos of Canadian sports teams.
Since 1979, the Royal Canadian Mint has produced gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion coins, which are officially known as Maple Leafs, as geometric maple leaves are stamped on them. The Trans Canada Highway uses a green maple leaf.
Source: Maple leaf from Wikipedia
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