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MONTREAL — Exactly 74 years ago, on January 21, 1948, the fleur-de-lys replaced the British Union Jack atop the central tower of the National Assembly in Quebec.

The Government of Quebec, led by Premier Maurice Duplessis, issues a decree granting the blue and white emblem status as the official flag of Quebec.

To mark the ceremony, January 21 was declared Flag Day.

The National Movement of Quebecers affirms that the flag is one of the most powerful means of communication of its existence as a nation and that it is an element of identification to attract attention and identify a jurisdiction.

Premier François Legault wrote on social media on Friday that Flag Day is an important day for the identity of Quebecers. He invited them to celebrate their history and their culture.

Activities marking Flag Day are taking place across Quebec on Friday, including the distribution of celebratory materials, the flag-raising ceremony, various social media activities and the release of vignettes.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published in French on January 21, 2022.