- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2011

OTTAWA, ONTARIO (AP) - Canada’s prime minister unveiled Wednesday a personal flag for Prince William for use during his upcoming visit.

It will be flown for the first time on Thursday when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a nine-day tour of his future realm. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the flag was approved by Queen Elizabeth II and William.

The flag will be flown from any building or vehicle he is in during his stay and on all vehicles. It is the first flag to be created by Canada for a member of the Royal Family since 1962, when the queen adopted a personal flag for her own use in Canada.

The queen also approved the design and creation of a personal flag for William’s father Prince Charles. The queen is the head of state in Canada, a member of the British Commonwealth of former colonies.

Harper is the most pro-monarchy Canadian leader since the 1950s, and his ambition is to foster a national identity that is more conservative and more aware of its historical roots.

“The flag is a testament to the special bond between Canada and the Royal Family and pays tribute to our shared history, traditions and institutions. It will be flown with great pride throughout the upcoming Royal Tour by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,” Harper said in a statement.

Harper has been shifting the country’s ideological bearings from center-left to center-right _ a project that lays greater stress on such symbols as the monarchy, the military, hockey and the Arctic.

To mark the queen’s husband’s 90th birthday this month, Harper announced that he appointed Prince Philip an honorary admiral and general in the Canadian Armed Forces, the first time an honorary rank has been granted at the highest level of the Canadian Armed Forces

Harper is expected to bask in the aura of William and Kate on their first official overseas trip as a married couple.

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