OTTAWA -- The first Royal Canadian Navy vessel to hoist a new ensign on Sunday will be HMCS Toronto.

The frigate is deployed in the Indian Ocean.

The navy is getting the new ensign to fly at the masthead and at naval shore establishments.

Sunday commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.

The naval ensign is a white flag with the Canadian Maple Leaf flag in the top corner closest to the mast and a blue navy badge in the outer half.

It will now fly from the mast of warships at sea.

The regular Maple Leaf flag will now be designated as the navy jack, which means it will fly from the ship's bow when it is tied up at a dock or buoy.

Essentially, the change merely switches the positions of the two flags.

But Vice Admiral Paul Maddison says it's important to naval heritage because warships have traditionally flown a special ensign to signify their status.