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The first Canadian flag: reputation and modernization

Three color illustrations with maple leaf designs

Three selected prototypes, 1964

The Canadian government entrusts Bruck Mills with orders that speak to the excellence of its products and reputation, which include the prestigious contract for the Canadian Maple Leaf flag.

The first Canadian flag
In 1964, the factory undertakes the secret production of several prototypes of the Canadian flag. This task, commissioned by the Lester B. Pearson government, is part of a process that leads to the adoption of the Maple Leaf by the House of Commons and the Senate in December 1964.

Black and white photo with 15 men seated at a long table with several flags hanging above them.

Flag selection committee meeting in Ottawa, 1964

Even before the design is approved, Bruck is already preparing to produce the flags by weaving a special nylon and training the printing staff. This proves to be a useful precaution, as Bruck Mills is soon in high demand for official Canadian flags.

Gerald Bruck, wearing glasses and a suit poses in front of a table where fabrics are draped all around

Gerald Bruck in front of a kiosk, 1964

Expo 67 and the People Tree
This prestigious contribution is again solicited for the 1967 International and Universal Exposition in Montréal. According to former executive Gerald Thomas, Bruck supplies not only Canadian flags, but also those of many other countries. It also participates in the production of textiles that make up the People Tree erected in front of the Canadian Pavilion.

The colour blue of the Quebec flag and the Montréal Olympics
In 1968, Bruck Mills is also asked to establish the dyeing standards for the blue colour of the Quebec flag. To keep up with the high demand for flags, some of the plant’s seamstresses do extra sewing at home, earning 25 to 75 cents apiece. In preparation for the 1976 Montréal Olympic Games, Bruck works with other manufacturers to produce the official flags.

Trade show booth promoting Bruck Fabrics products from Cowansville, Sherbrooke and St-Johns with draperies, manufacturing tools and photos of the company's facilities on display.

Bruck fabrics exhibition booth, circa 1964


Two large rolls of fabric mounted on a machine with an old illustration and the words Cowansville 1876-1976

Cowansville 100th anniversary flag, 1976

Specialty niches and upholstery fabrics
The company focuses on modernizing its facilities and on specialized niches such as upholstery fabrics. It also develops an internal process to ensure the continuous training of its workers.