Symbols of the Governor General
The Governor General's Flag
The Governor General's flag is blue with the crest of the Arms of Canada in its centre. A symbol of the sovereignty of Canada, the crest consists of a gold lion wearing the Royal Crown and holding in its right paw a red maple leaf. The lion stands on a wreath of the official colours of Canada.
The flag was approved by Her Majesty The Queen on February 23, 1981, and it follows the general pattern of the Governor General's flag in use since 1931. The Governor General's flag takes precedence over all other flags in Canada except The Queen's and it flies wherever the incumbent is in residence. For example, if the Governor General is in Whitehorse for a meeting, the flag would fly from the building where the meeting is taking place, and then from the hotel he or she is staying at. The flag is also flown on the car the Governor General is travelling in.
On State visits abroad, the Governor General uses the Canadian Flag as a more universally recognized symbol of our country
in place of the Governor General's flag.
The Vice-Regal Salute
The Vice-Regal Salute or Salute to the Governor General is a musical greeting and a mark of respect. It is performed officially in Canada in the presence of the Governor General.
The Vice-Regal Salute is composed of the first six bars of the Royal Anthem, "God Save The Queen", followed by a short version (the first four and the last four bars) of the National Anthem, "O Canada". The same format is used for Lieutenant Governors of the Provinces.
The Vice-Regal Salute was approved by Her Majesty The Queen in 1968.
When the Governor General makes an official visit abroad, "O Canada" is played as the musical salute.