Canadian Provincial Flags: 13 Interesting Facts To Know

Canadian provincial flags.
by Mircea Costina/Shutterstock

A flag is considered more than an object. It is a patriotic symbol representing a region’s colours, values, beliefs, and history.

The Canadian Provincial Flags, along with the national flag of Canada, represent the individual provinces/territories of the country.

The Canadian Flag, also known as the Maple Leaf Flag, is represented by Canada’s official colours 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.

Interesting Facts To Know About Canadian Provincial Flags And Territorial Flags

The provinces and territories have their distinctive flag, which is a somewhat 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 getting ready to celebrate a hundred years of independence.

1. Ontario Flag

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.

The bottom right corner of the flag, however, would have the Ontario Coat of Arms.

This was done to show allegiance to both Canada and Great Britain.

2. Alberta Flag

alberta flag
by Ksanawo/Shutterstock

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.

And had been used as a provincial banner, and had not been officialized until 1968 when it was made the official provincial flag of Alberta.

3. British Columbia Flag

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 symbolism saying 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

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.

It was made to be a classy adaptation of the Union Jack and was created in 1980 by a graphic design firm.

canadian provincial flags
Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels/ Copyright 2020

5. Manitoba Flag

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 St. Andrew’s Cross and a Buffalo, the animal, on the bottom right as its official provincial flag.

These two flags have continued to use the olden-style flag as a salute to the Union Jack.

6. New Brunswick Flag

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

7. Saskatchewan Flag

Saskatchewan flag
by Millenius/Shutterstock

Many of the Canadian province’s flags were created through competitions held for new flag designs. Similarly, a competition held in the honor of Saskatchewan’s upcoming 60th anniversary in 1969 saw the new Saskatchewan flag designed and chosen as the official provincial flag.

The flag’s colours- yellow and green are a representation of 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

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 Province flag
by Nicku/Shutterstock

The provincial flag of Nova Scotia is, as a matter of fact, 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, which was featured on Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent’s coat of arms.

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 colours of the Maple Leaf Flag.

11. Yukon Flag

The Yukon flag too was a contest winner, officially adopted in 1967. 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

The Northwest Territories is similar to the Yukon flag, with two blue bars on each side of a white bar. The blue bars stand for the territory’s lakes, rivers, oceans, and skies; whereas the white bar signifies 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 flag design, in a competition held in 1968, for the territory’s official flag.

13. Nunavut Flag

Nunavut flag
by Maxim Studio/Shutterstock

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

The flag is divided, with the left half being gold and the right half being white in colour. 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 travellers.

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


The Canadian Provincial Flags are a representation of important local symbols of each of the 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada.

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 and are taken very seriously by the citizens.

Lakshita enjoys giving form to the thoughts in her head. She likes to curl up with a good book and her dogs and swap reality with fiction for hours on end. And much prefers her dogs and fictional characters to people.