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Canadian Cadet Organizations

Last modified: 2005-02-26 by phil nelson
Keywords: canadian cadet league | military flags: canada | maple leaf | swords: crossed (2) | royal canadian sea scouts |
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Canadian Cadet League

In Alistair B. Fraser Internet book, Flags of Canada, he stated that the ensign of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets was first created in 1953, at the same time as the insignia. However, according to Fraser, before the creation of the Sea Cadet's ensign, the following flags were used:

  • - firstly, the naval White Ensign was used until 1929;
  • - then the Canadian Blue Ensign was used, and after that, the ensign of the Navy League of Canada.

The first ensign of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets (the one with the Royal Union Flag at the canton), was probably used until 1976 when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Queen of Canada approved the new ensign, replacing the Royal Union Flag with the Canadian flag.

The following text is from A.B. Fraser's book:

The Cadet Corps

There is no doubt that compulsory cadet service in the schools or educational houses of our country is most beneficial as it teaches the young men the lesson of patriotism and citizenship and teaches them to have a sane mind in a sound body.66
Armand Lavergne (1910)

Canada has offered its young people military training since before Confederation. Beginning with the Drill Associations in 1862, and the renamed Cadet Corps in 1896, the program has had a variety of objectives, one of which was clearly the preparation of teenagers for the defence of the nation.67 However, the societal benefits of citizenship training and patriotism have long been deemed important advantages of cadet training.

Although Cadet Corps do not form part of the Canadian Armed Forces, they have always been closely associated with them, at first being supervised by the Department of the Militia and Defence and now by the Department of National Defence. Since the end of the war, distinctive flags have been developed for all cadet branches. However, during the time of the reorganization of the Canadian Armed Forces in the mid-to late sixties, the Cadet Corps were temporarily left out, as they continued to use their old uniforms and flags into the seventies.

In the early years, cadet corps would carry the Union Flag without any inscriptions upon it. Since 1944, the Royal Canadian Army Cadets have had a Camp Flag which places their badge, a red maple leaf bearing a crown and the letters RCAC, upon a white field. In addition, they have an Army Cadet Flag (to be distinguished from the Camp Flag) and Banner. These latter two play roles parallel to that of colours in the regular forces: the flag serves as a unit colour for individual cadet corps, and the banner imitates a command colour for the corps as a whole. As colours lie outside the purview of this book, these two flags will not be treated here either.

The Sea Cadets used a variety of flags in their history: some corps flew the White Ensign until 1929; they then used the Canadian Blue Ensign and the flag of the Canadian Navy League until 1953. In that year, the Chief of Naval Service approved a design for the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Flag: a white flag with the Union Flag in the canton, and, on the fly, the badge of the Cadets, a gold anchor on a blue roundel surrounded by red maple leaves and surmounted by a Naval Crown. In 1976, the Sovereign approved a new design which replaced the Union flag in the canton with the Maple Leaf Flag.

The original Air Cadet Ensign was approved by King George VI in 1941. It had the light blue field of the RCAF. ensign, the Union Flag in the canton and, in the fly, the badge of the Cadet Corps, a dark blue roundel with, in gold, soaring eagle surmounted by a maple leaf. Thirty year later, in 1971, the Maple Leaf Flag displaced the Union Flag in the canton.
Christophe T. Stevenson, 16 December 2004

Army Cadet League

I don't know if this has been posted, but on the 25th anniversary of the Army Cadet League, the Minister of National Defense presented a new flag to the Army Cadet League. The flag is described as:

Argent two swords in saltire Argent fimbriated Gules hilted and pommelled Or surmounted by a maple leaf Gules veined Or all within an orle of twelve maple leaves stems inward Gules.

The white shield bearing a central maple leaf with crossed swords symbolizes a central Canadian entity for the military, the smaller maple leaves show singleness of purpose at the branch level.

Photo of the presentation ceremony is located at
for the artistically gifted.
Phil Nelson, August 1998

Here are the flags of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets. These images are taken from the website of the Canadian Cadet Movement:

[Army Cadets]
Source: Canadian Cadet League

I want to note that the insignia of HRH Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh is found on this banner because His Royal Highness is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets. He also serves as the Admiral of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets. The central image is the badge of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets. The lower right insignia probably represents the Canadian Army.
Christophe T. Stevenson, 16 December 2004

[Army Cadets]
Source: Canadian Cadet League

[Army Cadets]
Source: Canadian Cadet League

Royal Canadian Sea Cadets

[Royal Canadian Sea Cadets]
by Christophe T. Stevenson

The first Ensign of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets (RCSC) was a white flag with a Union Jack Canton with the insignia of the RCSC at the fly. With the creation of the Canadian National Flag in 1965, the ensign changed to include the Maple Leaf flag to replace the Union Jack.
Christophe T. Stevenson, 9 February 2001
Ex-Coxswain of the RCSCC 223 Longueull

Original ensign
[Royal Canadian Sea Cadets]
by Christophe T. Stevenson

Navy League of Canada

Navy League
[Navy League]
Source: Canadian Cadet League

Sea Cadets Ensign French Version
[Cadets English Ensign]
Source: Canadian Cadet League

Sea Cadets Ensign English Version
[Cadets French Ensign]
Source: Canadian Cadet League

As stated above, the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets have used the ensign of the Navy League of Canada. The Navy League is the civilan partner with the Department of National Defence that take care of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets. I do not know if the Navy League still uses the other two flags anymore, however, this summer at HMCS QUÉBEC, a sea cadet summer training centre, this was the flag used to represent the Navy League.
Christophe T. Stevenson, 20 December 2004

According to Rear Admiral Benson, General Secretary of the Navy League in Canada, the Navy League, which gave rise to the Sea Cadets, had used the Union Jack with the Navy League badge in the centre since about 1900.

He wrote to the British Admiralty in June 1918 applying for a Blue Ensign with the badge of the Navy League in the fly. The request was refused, but was to be reconsidered if the Navy League established a training ship of their own with a substantial number of boys in continuous training. Admiralty file [ADM 1/8529/187] in the National Archives at Kew, London.
David Prothero, 22 December 2004