13 Fascinating Facts About Canadian Provincial Flags That Will Ignite Your Patriotism

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Lakshita Ananya Sreen Things to Know
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A flag is considered more than an object. It is a patriotic symbol representing a region’s colors, values, beliefs, and history.

The Canadian Flag, also known as the Maple Leaf Flag, is represented by Canada’s official colors, red and white, two red bars and a white bar with a maple leaf in the middle- standing for peace, hope, and prosperity, and symbolizing the nation’s bountiful natural resources.

The Canadian Provincial Flags and Canada’s national flag represent the country’s provinces/territories.

Facts To Know About Canadian Provincial & Territorial Flags

The provinces and territories have their distinctive flag, a recent addition to Canadian culture.

Many of the Canadian province’s flags were created after the nation achieved independence from Britain when the provinces were preparing to celebrate a hundred years of independence.

1. Ontario Flag

Ontario Flag
From DepositPhotos

The Red Ensign was authorized as Ontario’s flag to ensure the continued use of the little Union Jack on the top left corner as the provincial flag.

However, the bottom right corner of the flag would have the Ontario Coat of Arms. This was done to show allegiance to both Canada and Great Britain.

2. Alberta Flag

image is screenshotted from the website

The present official flag of Alberta was submitted by the Social Credit Women’s Auxiliaries of the ASCL (Alberta Social League) as part of a call for an individual flag for Alberta.

It was approved as the provincial ‘banner’ on January 17, 1967, and was made the official provincial flag by the legislature on June 1, 1968.

3. British Columbia Flag

 British Columbia Flag
From DepositPhotos

The British Columbia Flag is largely based on the province’s coat of arms and loosely depicts the Royal Union Flag.

It is believed that the setting sun on the flag is an old British symbol about a sun that never sets against the Pacific Ocean coast, which was one of the furthermost points of the British Empire during the earlier times.

4. Newfoundland And Labrador Flag

Newfoundland And Labrador Flag
From DepositPhotos

Like it was the last province to join the Confederation of Canada, the Newfoundland and Labrador flag is also the newest addition to the list of Canadian province’s flags to be created.

The design incorporates broad symbolism, including references to the Union Jack and ancient Beothuk and Innu ornamentation.

It was designed by local artist Christopher Pratt in 1980.

5. Manitoba Flag

Manitoba Flag
From DepositPhotos

Manitoba, like Ontario, uses the ensign style flags with the British flag on the upper left and the province’s coat of arms- consisting of the Cross of St. George at the top and a Buffalo, the animal, on the bottom right as its official provincial flag.

These two flags have continued using the olden-style flag to salute the Union Jack.

6. New Brunswick Flag

New Brunswick Flag
From DepositPhotos

The New Brunswick flag was a newer design, adopted in 1965, with a golden lion on a red field and a sailing ship below it to acknowledge the province’s historic status as a major maritime trade and ship-building hub.

7. Saskatchewan Flag

Many of the Canadian province’s flags were created through competitions for new designs.

Similarly, a competition held in 1968 resulted in the new Saskatchewan flag being designed by Anthony Drake and chosen as the official provincial flag, which was adopted on September 22, 1969.

The flag’s colors- yellow and green- represent the prairie provinces’ vast forests and grain fields in the north and south, respectively.

The upper left bears the provincial coat of arms shield, while on the right, the red lily, the provincial flower, is seen.

8. Quebec Flag

Quebec Flag
From DepositPhotos

The post-establishment period of the Dominion of Canada saw Queen Victoria sign a royal warrant for the designation of provincial coats of arms for the four earliest provinces- Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.

Quebec’s provincial flag was the first among the Canadian province’s flags to be created in 1948. It uses the fleur-de-lis and a white cross on a blue background, symbolizing the medieval banners of royal France.

This reflected Canada’s historic ties to France, where the flag’s genesis can be traced back.

9. Nova Scotia Flag

Nova Scotia Flag
From DepositPhotos

The provincial flag of Nova Scotia is an inverted design of the Scottish flag- St. Andrew’s cross and the province’s coat of arms shield in the middle of the flag.

10. Prince Edward Island Flag

Like New Brunswick’s provincial flag, the Prince Edward Island Flag has the golden lion stretched out on a red field, featured on Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent’s coat of arms.

Prince Edward Island Flag
From DepositPhotos

Below the lion are three oak saplings next to an oak tree, symbolizing the tree as mother England and the saplings as the three ancient counties of Prince Edward Island– embodying the provincial motto, Parva sub ingenti,” which can be interpreted as the protection of small under the great.

This entire depiction is bordered by red and white, Canada’s official colors of the Maple Leaf Flag.

11. Yukon Flag

Yukon Flag
From DepositPhotos

The Yukon flag, too, was a contest winner, officially adopted in 1968.

The flag has the territorial coat of arms in the middle on a white background, with a green bar on the left, characterizing forests, and a blue bar on the right, denoting the territory’s rivers and lakes.

12. Northwest Territories Flag

Northwest Territories Flag
From DepositPhotos

The Northwest Territories is similar to the Yukon flag, with two blue bars on each white bar.

Blue bars represent the territory’s lakes, rivers, oceans, and skies, whereas white bars signify the region’s ice and snow.

The territory’s coat of arms shield lies in the center of the white bar.

Of more than 3000 flag designs, the design of 18-year-old Robert Bessant was chosen as the final one in a competition held in 1968 for the territory’s official flag.

13. Nunavut Flag

As Canada’s newest territory, a local artist created the Nunavut flag in 1999, the same year as the territory’s formation.

The flag is divided, with the left half gold and the right half white.

Taking up the center of the flag is a red Inukshuk, a traditional stone structure used by the territory’s Natives as markings for sacred areas and as guiding points for travelers.

A blue star is seen in the top right corner of the Nunavut flag, representing the North Star, traditionally used by travelers for navigation.

Wrapping Up

Though the Province’s Flags come second in precedence over the country’s national flag, they are a part of the nation’s rich culture.

They represent important local symbols of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories.

From the iconic maple leaf of Ontario to the maritime emblems of Nova Scotia, these flags are proud representatives of Canada’s diverse regions.

The flags have fascinating stories reflecting each province’s rich history and unique characteristics, which we must understand and appreciate.

Last Updated on by Ananya Sreen

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