Canadian Flag

Frequently Asked Questions about Parliament Hill flags

How many Canadian flags are flown on Parliament Hill?
There are usually five flags that fly on Parliament Hill: one on the Peace Tower, two on the East Block and two on the West Block.

Each year, approximately 250 flags fly on the Peace Tower and 200 on both the East and West Blocks.

How frequently are these flags changed?
The Peace Tower flag is changed every day, Monday to Friday and on days when it is flown at half-mast. The flags on the East and West Blocks are changed once a week and on days when they are flown at half-mast.

Parliament Hill flags are not changed on statutory holidays and, for safety reasons, during poor weather conditions such as snowstorms or high winds.

Upon being removed from its pole, a flag is dried, folded in a specific way and stored for distribution.

Watch the flag master changing the Canadian flag on the Peace Tower.

Who can get a flag that has flown on Parliament Hill?
Any Canadian resident can add his/her name to the waiting list for a Canadian flag that has flown on Parliament Hill. The protocol is to give only one flag per person and per household. Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) does not charge recipients for flags, which are not sent outside Canada.

How can I make a request for a flag that has flown on Parliament Hill?
To request a flag that has flown on Parliament Hill or to report a change of address for a request that has already been made, please send a written request with your name, complete home address, telephone number and email address, as well as your choice of flag, by email to minister@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca, by fax to 819-956-8760 or by mail to:

Public Works and Government Services Canada
Office of the Minister
Portage III, 18A1
11 Laurier Street
Gatineau, Quebec 
K1A 0S5

If you move before having received your flag, please inform PWGSC of your change of address to ensure accurate delivery.

How long is the waiting period to get a flag that has flown on Parliament Hill?
Over 8,500 flags that flew on Parliament Hill were distributed between 1994 and September 2014. Nearly 15,000 people are still on the waiting list to receive a flag. While demand for this popular initiative is growing, the supply of flags remains constant.

Description

The following table outlines the location, size and pole height requirements of the flags flown on Parliament Hill and the current estimated waiting periods for new requesters to receive a flag

Location Approximate Size Pole Height Requirements Approximate
Waiting Period*
(as of September 15, 2014)
*The waiting periods are usually updated in March and September.
Peace Tower 2.3 m x 4.6 m
(7.5 ft x 15 ft)
13.7 m to 15.2 m
(45 ft to 50 ft)
48 years
East or West Block 1.35 m x 2.7 m
(4.5 ft x 9 ft)
9.1 m to 10.7 m
(30 ft to 35 ft)
34 years

Flag requesters should refer to the acknowledgement they received to obtain the most reliable estimate of their waiting period.

Where can I find additional information on the Canadian flag?
The official ceremony inaugurating the current Canadian flag was held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on February 15, 1965.

Canadian Heritage has a lot of interesting facts on Canada’s national flag and on National Flag of Canada Day on its website.

Rules for flying the flag can also be found on the Canadian Heritage website.