Canadians don't like to be rushed, it seems. And we don't like anyone feeling left out or ignored. So we choose our national symbols slowly and often, after much debate.
For a long time, Canada has had an official coat of arms, motto, and royal symbols. But the country didn't have its own flag to fly until almost a century after Confederation. It took three tries by parliamentary committees, starting in 1925.
Turns out we like our symbols rooted in the past, and in Quebec
O Canada became the official anthem in 1980, a full century after it was first sung. This was five years after the beaver was given the coveted official animal designation. It was only in 1996 that the maple tree was officially recognized as a Canadian symbol. In 2002, the Canadian horse won official status as a symbol. (Perhaps it's who you know.)
But do these official icons really evoke what this country is all about?
In the days leading up to Canada Day, The Globe and Mail teamed up with Facebook for an unscientific survey of Canadians about what our true national symbols should be.
We asked Canadians to send us their Facebook photos of their favourite places in Canada. Here are our editors' picks, from Tofino to Twillingate
We've also asked a few other Canadians to share their thoughts in the pages of The Globe:
Today: Mark Schatzker makes his pitch for
Monday: David Suzuki makes his pitch for the national plant
Tuesday: Joseph Boyden makes his pitch for the national animal
Wednesday: Zarqa Nawaz makes her pitch for the national uniform
Canada Day: Hayley Wickenheiser makes her pitch for the national sports team
Have Your Say: What do you think defines Canada? Did we miss a symbol? Tell us.