In 1921, the Canadian Air Force was authorized to fly the Ensign adopted by the Royal Air Force. It was not until July 1940 that a Canadian version was authorized by altering the original red centre of the roundel with a maple leaf. This continued to be the Ensign of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) until the adoption of the Canadian National Flag in 1965.
At the introduction of the Canadian National Flag, the Ensign was retired from use but its design was used for the command flag of Air Command, approved in 1982. The only change was the use of the Canadian Flag in the upper Canton and the use of a different style of maple leaf.