With the dissolution of the British Commonwealth in 2116 CE, the people of Canada began to complain about the fact that the red and white colors of their long-beloved flag represented the English monarchy. The First Peoples were especially vocal about updating the flag, and soon the Parliament was inundated with proposal after proposal to consider. Soon, English, Scottish, and French nationalisms were also fanned, and it became difficult for anyone to avoid a heated discussion about the future of the flag. This threatened to divide the consensus-driven nation, and, because of this controversy, the proposed designs for the flag became increasingly complex, if not outright messy, with every aspect of every group of people in Canada competing for a share of very limited real estate. “It would seem,” one politician quipped, “that we are trying to design a national encyclopedia, rather than a flag.”
It all came to an amicable conclusion in 2121 CE, however, when Abraham al-Wadi of Kindersley, Saskatchewan, a twelve-year-old son of Iraqi Immigrants, made an ingenious discovery. Every one of the proposed flag designs had featured at least one of two elements, usually both: the sugar maple leaf and the color white. The sugar maple had become a unifying symbol of Canadian identity regardless of national origin. The color white, like what remained of the arctic ice, had come to stand for the rugged spirit of the northern nation, as well as its natural beauty and its people’s purity of conscience. Al-Wadi proposed a simple design with these two features, with the color green for the maple leaf, representing vibrance of life, beauty of nature at its peak, and pan-Canadian tradition of environmental stewardship, and with a pale turquoise tint for the background, the color of glaciers. The leaf was symmetrical and centered, denoting Canadian traditions of pacifism and neutrality in world affairs. The idea quickly caught on, and displaced the Red Maple Leaf within a year. It was formally adopted as the Canadian national flag, unfortunately, only in 2180 CE, decades after it had become the de facto flag of the nation, and years after the death of Al-Wadi himself, thanks to another formidable Canadian tradition: unnecessary procedural delays.