Culture Facts

Canadian Provinces Flags – 4 Popular Facts!

Canadian Provinces Flags

Who wouldn’t love the great white north and everything it has to offer, from its mesmerizing high peaks to delicious food to super-friendly people, I surely would love to explore Canada.

Canada is the second largest country known by area, it is a blend of 10 provinces and 3 territories.

And apparently, every province and territory has its own unique set of symbols or Canadian flags with it. There are different Canadian provinces’ flags representing the ten provinces individually.

The Canadian provinces’ flags are the representation of its history and the respect behind it, and they are considered an important emblem of the nation.

Image by josemiguels from Pixabay Copyright 2016

Here are 4 popular and interesting sets of facts about the Province’s Flags.

1.1. History of Flags

Earlier, Canada was considered a part of a British colony and had no flag as its representation. Being a part of the British colony, it came under the flag of the British Empire called the Union Jack.

During the late 19th century, the British empire also wanted to segregate and represent its colonies with different symbols called the ensign.

Red and blue background flags were made with different symbols in the bottom right and the picture of the Union Jack in the top left corner.

Canada was represented with a red ensign, which featured a union jack on the red field and the Canadian coat of arms as the symbolization of Canada.

But with time, certain changes were done in the ensign and got finalized as the Canadian national flag in the year 1921.

As Canada grew into an independent nation, the Red ensign was taken as the symbol of controversy.

Prime minister Lester Pearson who even worked as an international diplomat made it his priority to create a new flag of Canada that should be free of any British representation.

The suggestion and introduction of a new flag incurred the longest debate in the history of the parliament of Canada. The red ensign was considered the bridge between Canada’s historic connection to Britain and the monarchy ties.

1.2. Flag Rules

The official flag proclamation of Canada as in the specifics of the flag design is by the federal bureaucracy. The flag rules are according to the Canadian standards general board. Here are some of the flag rules.

  • The standard CAN/CGSB-98.1-2011 for the outdoor flags and CAN/CGSB-98.2-2011 for the indoor flags.
  • The flag size of national flag of Canada is twice as long as it is wide in size.
  • The color of the flag is red and measures 64 units in length and 32 units in width or depth.
  • The proportion of the flag is about 2:1.
  • It is a red maple leaf flag present in the centre of the white square, the flag is divided into two color schemes such as a red and white field.
  • The red and white field together marks the width of the flag while the red field only marks the length of the flag.
  • There is also an ensign of the navy which uses the British crest or symbol in their flag.
  • The flag uses a crest of the Royal Canadian Navy in the bottom left and the maple leaf Canadian flag at the top right corner of the ensign.

The flags of the other branches of the Canadian military have almost been designed similarly to the above naval jack or naval ensign.

1.3. Flags of Canada

There are a variety of flags that can be seen in Canada. The flags of Canada are all distinctively unique in their designs and illustrations.

1.3.1 The Maple Leaf Flag

The national flag of Canada is known to be the maple leaf flag since the year 1965. It features a large red-coloured maple leaf in the centre white field of the flag with two red-coloured patterns or bars on either side of the white square.

The red and white colors became Canada’s official colors, and the symbol of the maple leaf became Canada’s national emblem.

Canadian flag
Photo by BUTENKOV ALEKSEI from Shutterstock

There is nothing specific regarding the design of the flag but this current flag represents the unifying symbol of the country.

The government buildings, schools, and large business companies put up the flag of Canada on their flagpole. Some residential families also hang the flag in a miniature version outside their homes as a homage to the country.

Whenever any major crisis occurs in the country or the world or when someone important dies in the country, the flag is lowered halfway down the pole or the flag is flown half-mast as respect and standard etiquette.

1.3.2 Provincial Flags

The Canada and its provincial flags
Image by gary718 from unlimsphotos

Each territory and province of Canada have its separate flags representing them. Initially, the Canadian province’s flags were based on ensigns style with the province’s coat of arms as their symbols.

As there are thirteen provinces so are Canadian province’s flags, all thirteen are uniquely different in their representations.

The majority of the flags depict some government-affiliated symbols or any pre-existing signs and symbols or the coat of arms of the individual province.

Here are the thirteen Canadian province’s flags:

  • Alberta Flag: The Alberta flag is a simple flag design with a blue background depicting the picture of the province in the centre. The picture of the province is in the form of a stylized landscape of Alberta.
British Columbia Flag
Image by Selensergen from Unlimsphotos
  • British Columbia Flag: The British Columbia flag depicts a colorful representation of a never-setting sun against the waves of the Pacific coastline. This flag was designed in the year 1960 during the reign of WAC Bennett. 
  • Manitoba Flag: The Manitoba flag follows the old red ensign pattern. The flag features the coat of arms of the province and the symbol of the official provincial animal which is a buffalo. It is a total red background flag with the coat of arms in the top left corner and the symbol of buffalo in the lower right corner. Manitoba flags are one of the flags which were not re-designed like others during the late 20th century.

  • New Brunswick Flag: The New Brunswick Canadian province’s flags are all inspired by British heritage. The flag consists of a symbol of a lion which is representative of England. It has an old sailing ship which is a representation of the historical background of the province. The flag is divided between two colours red and yellow. The red colour above features a lion and the yellow colour below features a sailing boat.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Flag: It is one of the flags of the Canadian provinces which is a newly designed creation made by a graphic design firm in the year 1980. It is divided into two colour backgrounds white and blue. It was supposed to resemble the Union Jack of Canada. The colour blue represents the sea while the colour white is the frozen north. The other colours present in the flag are the representation of pride, hope, and forward-thinking.

  • Northwest Territories Flag: The northwest territories flag is a combination of two colours white and blue. There is a white background in the centre with two blue bars on each side. The white background consists of the pictorial representation of the rivers, lakes, and oceans of the territory. The crest even consists of a symbol of a fox which is known to be the territorial animal of northern Canada.
Photo by Nobilior on Unlimphotos
  • Nova Scotia Flag: The flag of Nova Scotia is a white background flag with a blue cross. It looks like an inverted variant of the Scottish flag, the cross of St. Andrew. In the middle of this blue cross, is the symbol of the coat of arms of the province.

  • Nunavut Flag: This Canadian province flag was created in the year 1999. It is a combination of two colours white and yellow. There is a symbolic representation of the traditional stone Inukshuk which is made by the native people of Nunavut. This symbol conjoins the two colour schemes and sits right in the middle of the flag. There is a blue star present in the white colour scheme at the top right corner, this north star is the traditional representation of northern Canada.

  • Ontario Flag: The Ontario flag is also a classic flag resembling a red ensign. It is a total red background flag featuring the union jack and the coat of arms of the province. The union jack is present in the top left corner with the province’s coat of arms in the bottom right corner. The Ontario premier John Robarts who was a vocal critic of the Maple leaf assigned this red ensign flag of Ontario as a means that the union jack would continue to fly in Ontario. The two Canadian province’s flags namely Manitoba and Ontario are quite similar in presentation.

  • Prince Edward Island: The flag of this Canadian province is a color combination of two which are red and white. It looks like a stretched-out version of the coat of arms of the province. There are two symbols present are lion and the big trees which represents mother England. The lion is present on the red background above, and the big tree with the three other small trees below on the white background. 

  • Quebec Flag: The Quebec flag is one of the flags which doesn’t have any specific symbols or distinctive features. The flag uses the fleur de lis and a cross which creates a distinctive memory of the medieval banners of royal France. Amongst all the other provinces, Quebec is the only province to create its separate flag.

  • Saskatchewan flag: The flag of this province is a colour scheme of two colours that is green and yellow. It is a stylized representation of the flat landscape of the province. A crest of the province is present in the top left corner in the green bar while a symbol of a red lily is present in the yellow bar in the bottom right corner. This flag was designed as a part of the wide contest that was held in the province in the year 1969.

  • Yukon Flag: The Yukon flag is also one of the flags which was also designed as part of a contest-winning. This flag is also a combination of colors namely white, green, and blue. White color is in the middle of the flag with a green bar on the left and a blue bar on the right. The white background contains images of the provincial coat of arms. The color green represents forests while the color blue represents lakes and rivers.

1.4. Facts About Canada Province Flags

  • Canada’s military groups like the army, navy and air force all have their flags. The individual regiments of these military branches also have their separate flags.
  • The Queen of Canada, Governor-general, and Lieutenant governors of the provinces have their official flags, these flags are always waved at any building they are visiting.
  • There are two recognized minority groups according to ethnicity which are aboriginals and French-Canadians. They are known to fly their aboriginal flags and Francophone flags as a representation and identification of their communities.

Bottom Line

Canadian province’s flags are known to be the symbol of personality and respect for their province and the country. All Canadian province flags – the present national flag, or the territorial flags have their own set of illustrations representing them.

Canadian province flags
Photo by andre st-louis from Shutterstock

The Canadian flag pays homage to the British culture and is even standing its ground with its maple leaf flag.

The national flag of any country is the highest level of tribute to the nation, which one should always stand in honor, dignity, and pride.

Now that you know all about Canadian Provinces Flags, why don’t you visit yourself and explore? Also, let us know your experience in the comments!


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