On July 1st, Canadians from coast to coast will proudly wave the red and white Maple Leaf flag. But how many are aware that the tradition started here, in Toronto? At the time of Confederation in 1867, the maple leaf as a symbol of Canadian patriotism was relatively new. At a public meeting in August, 1860, a group of Toronto citizens, planning for the upcoming Royal Visit of the Prince of Wales, decided to identify themselves as native-born Canadians by wearing a maple leaf. This leather badge was worn at the reception for the Prince of Wales held in Toronto on September 7, 1860. Although the maple leaf had previously been used as a symbol for Canada, this was the first occasion on which it was worn as a national emblem.