Though as a Canadian I do agree that our flag (and anthem for that matter) is weak, it has a merit that trumps all its bad points — which are numerous. Namely, the leaf is a weak symbol, and the maple leaf itself is not universal to Canada….and, the blue maple leaf is the symbol of the worst professional sports organization in North America, if not the world.
However, that red maple leaf is instantly recognizable. Canadians travelling abroad need simply have a red maple leaf (not even the entire flag) attached to a backpack, or a jacket, or a hat, and everyone they meet will know they are Canadian.
In that respect, the flag has accomplished what few other flags in the world have — something instantly identifiable to every other nation in the world.