Flags of Canada

IMGThis wonderful card showing the flags of all the states and territories in Canada. It arrived a few days ago and made my day as it is a really special one. Canada is another country that is very high on my travel bucket list and I do hope to make this dream come true very soon.

Below you can find some small stories about these beautiful and sometimes unusual flags that you can see on the card. Enjoy reading.

British Columbia

The flag of British Columbia is based upon the shield of the provincial arms of British Columbia. At the top of the flag is a rendition of the Royal Union Flagdefaced in the centre by a crown, and with a setting sun below, representing the province’s location at the western end of Canada.

Nunavut

The flag of Nunavut was proclaimed on 1 April 1999, along with the territory of Nunavut in Canada. And must be one of the youngest flags on the planet. It features a red inuksuk—an Inuit land marker—and a blue star, which represents the Niqirtsuituq, the North Star, and the leadership of elders in the community. Unfortunately, the blue star is missing on the flag on the postcard. The colours represent the riches of the land, sea and sky. It was adopted following a process where input was sought from local communities and submissions were solicited from the Canadian public.

Yukon

The flag of Yukon is a green, white, and blue tricolour with the coat of arms of Yukon at the centre above a wreath of fireweed, the territorial flower. An official flag for Yukon was created during the 1960’s, a decade in which the national flag of Canada was chosen as well as several other provincial flags were created. The flag of Yukon was officially selected from a territory-wide design competition in 1967, with the winning design adopted on March 1, 1968.

New Brunswick

The flag of New Brunswick is a banner modelled after the province’s coat of arms and was adopted by proclamation on February 24, 1965.

The flag has the proportions 8:5. A gold lion on the red field across the top one-third of the flag represents New Brunswick’s ties to both theBrunswick region in Germany and (the arms of) the Monarch of Canada. The lower two-thirds of the flag depicts a Scottish Lymphad, the traditional representation of a ship in heraldry. It represents shipbuilding, one of the province’s main industries at the time the coat of arms was adopted and throughout much of the province’s history.

Manitoba

The flag of Manitoba is a variation of the Red Ensign which bears the shield of the provincial coat of arms. This flag was approved by the passage of a bill in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly on May 11, 1965. Queen Elizabeth II having given permission for the use of the Union device in October 1965, it was officially proclaimed on 12 May 1966. The decision to adopt the flag was made after the federal government decided to replace the Canadian Red Ensign with the Maple Leaf flag. The flag of Ontario was adopted under similar circumstances.

Alberta

In 1968, the Alberta government authorized the design of an official flag. On 1 June 1968, the flag of Alberta was adopted.

The provincial colours, adopted in 1984, are blue and gold (deep yellow); they are also referred to as “Alberta blue” and “Alberta gold”, appearing on the flag/shield in the sky/background and wheat background, respectively.

Northwest Territories

The current flag of the Northwest Territories was adopted in 1969 by the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories.

Prince Edward Island

The flag of Prince Edward Island is a banner modelled after the provincial arms and was adopted in 1964.

The upper third of the flag features the English heraldic lion which appeared both on the coat of arms of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, for whom the province is named, and on that of King Edward VII. The lower two-thirds show an island on which appear three small oak saplings (on the left) – representing the three counties of PEI (Prince, Queens, and Kings) – under the protection of a great oak tree which represents Great Britain. This symbolism is also reflected in the provincial motto, Parva sub ingenti (the small under the protection of the great).

Newfoundland & Labrador

The flag of Newfoundland and Labrador was introduced in 1980, and was designed by Newfoundland artist Christopher Pratt.

The design was chosen due to its broad symbolism. The blue colour represents the sea, the white colour represents snow and ice of winter, the red colour represents the effort and struggle of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and the gold colour symbolizes the confidence Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have in themselves and for the future.

The blue triangles are meant as a tribute to the Union Jack, and stand for the British heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador. The two red triangles are meant to represent the two areas of the province—the mainland and the island. The gold arrow, according to Pratt, points towards a “brighter future”; the arrow becomes a sword, honouring the sacrifices of Newfoundlanders in military service when the flag is draped as a vertical banner. The red triangles and the gold arrow form a trident, symbolizing the province’s dependence on its fisheries and the resources of the sea.

Saskatchewan

The flag of Saskatchewan features the armorial bearings (coat of arms) in the upper quarter nearest the staff, with the floral emblem, the western red lily, in the fly. The upper green half of the flag represents the northern Saskatchewan forest lands, while the gold lower half symbolizes the southern, prairie wheat-fields.

Quebec

The flag of Quebec, called the Fleurdelisé, was adopted for the province by the government of Quebec, during the administration of Maurice Duplessis. It was the first provincial flag officially adopted in Canada, first shown on January 21, 1948, at the Parliament Building of the National Assembly in Quebec City.

Nova Scotia

The flag of Nova Scotia, created in 1858, is a banner of the coat of arms of Nova Scotia, which were granted to the Scottish colony by Charles I, in 1625.

The flag of the modern Canadian province, a blue saltire on a white field (background), is a simple figure-ground reversal of the flag of Scotland (a white saltire, Saint Andrew‘s cross, on a blue field, charged with an inescutcheon bearing the royal arms of Scotland, a gold shield with a red lion rampant surrounded by a royal double tressure (a double border decorated with fleurs de lis). The royal arms do not appear on Scotland’s flag – they were added to Nova Scotia’s to distinguish the flag from the Russian Navy Ensign which is also a blue saltire on a white field.

The similarity to the Scottish flag reflects the province’s name, which is Latin for “New Scotland”. Nova Scotia was one of the few British colonies to be granted its own Coat of Arms, and the flag is the only one of the original Canadian provinces dating back to before confederation.

Ontario

The flag of Ontario was enacted by the Flag Act on May 21, 1965 in the Legislature of the Province of Ontario. The flag is a defaced Red Ensign, with the Union Flag in the canton and the Ontario shield of arms in the fly. This flag is very similar to the flag of Manitoba.

Bangkok

IMG_0028I received this beautiful postcard some time ago and just found it to add to my collection on this blog. It shows a night view of Wat Phra Keo, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand and is situated in the historic city of Bangkok within the precincts of the Grand Palace.

The main building is the central ubosoth, which houses the statue of the Emerald Buddha. The legendary history of this Buddha image is traced to India, five centuries after the Lord Buddha attained Nirvana, till it was finally enshrined in Bangkok at the Wat Phra Kaew temple in 1782 during Rama I‘s reign (1782–1809). This marked the beginning and raise of the Chakri Dynasty of the present Kingdom of Thailand (the present head of the dynasty is King Rama IX.) The Emerald Buddha, a dark green statue, is in a standing form, about 66 centimetres (26 in) tall, carved from a single jade stone (Emerald in Thai means deep green colour and not the specific stone). It is carved in the meditating posture in the style of the Lanna school of the northern Thailand. Except for the Thai King, no other person is allowed to touch the statue. The King changes the cloak around the statue three times a year, corresponding to the summer, winter, and rainy seasons, an important ritual performed to usher good fortune to the country during each season.

Unfortunately, I have not made it to Thailand yet but you can be sure it is on my bucket list for the next years. Is there anything else you would highly recommend to visit in Bangkok? Please let me know.

Monaco

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The above postcard shows Le Grand Casino de Monte Carlo which first opened it’s doors in 1858 and marks the start of the major success story of this small state. Due the casino success, the principality could afford not to collect tax from Monegasques by 1869 and continues to do so until now.

I once had the pleasure to visit and play in this casino when I was working on a cruise ship in 2003 and I have to say that this was a very exciting evening. Seeing many people playing roulette on different tables, loosing and winning thousands of dollars, euros and pounds in minutes. I certainly did give it a try with roulette and was up for most of the evening until one gets cocky and the casino wins it all – what a shame!

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This postcard shows the Oceanographic Museum, which is especially impressive to watch from the sea side when it towers about 80 meters above a cliff and just looks monumental.

The above 2 postcards have arrived recently in my mail box and are a gift and very nice surprise from Malyss (http://chroniclesfromtheshore.blogspot.co.uk/), a fellow blogger from the French Riviera. Thanks to her reading about my project and helping me to complete the collection of capital cities on postcards.

Did you actually know that Monaco is the second smallest country in the world? It is also the most densely populated country int he world. not bad for such a little state.

Monaco is really worth a visit at any time and I would certainly like to return one day, maybe even when the Monaco Grand Prix is in town. it must be such a fantastic experience to see Formula One cars racing through this quite small city.

Vilnius

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Thanks to Laima from Leeds, who sent me this postcard from her home town Vilnius in Lithuania. It shows the Gediminas’ Tower which is part of the Upper Castle where you can have a wonderful view over the old town of Vilnius. The Old Town of Vilnius is one of the best preserved medieval old towns in Northern Europe.  It is a place where some of Europe’s greatest architectural styles – gothicrenaissancebaroque and neoclassical – stand side by side and complement each other. Therefore, it became an UNESCO world heritage site in 1994. Well worth a visit from what I could look up on the internet and certainly on my bucket list to visit.

If you have been to Vilnius, what other places will be of interest?

Flag of Russia

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Thanks to a fellow postcrosser, I am able to cross of another country from my missing flag collection list – Russia.

The flag of the Russian Federation is a tricolor flag consisting of three equal horizontal fields; white on the top, blue in the middle and red on the bottom.

The flag was first used as an ensign for Russian merchant ships and only became official in 1896. The flag continued to be used by the Russian Provisional Government after the Tsar was toppled in the February Revolution and was not replaced until the October Revolution which established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic – the world’s first constitutionally socialist state. From that time period, a 1:2 red flag featuring the abbreviated name “RSFSR” (“РСФСР“) was used, until replaced in 1954 with the universal design of the Soviet flag with a blue stripe along the mast. It was not until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 that the tricolour was brought back as the official flag of the new Russian Federation. The modern era flag underwent a proportion change in 1993 and has been official since 2000.

Brasilia

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The above postcard shows the Cathedral of Brasilia, also know as “Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady Aparecida”. This Roman Catholic cathedral was built by Oscar Niemeyer in 1970. The concrete columns give it a very futuristic look and before reading about it, I would have never guessed that this was a house of god.

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This postcard shows the National Congress of Brazil which houses the  Federal Senate (the upper house) and the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house). The Senate represents the 26 states and the Federal District.

 

Both cards were sent by Jamilia on a private postcard swap. Many thanks! This is the first capital in South America that I am covering in my blog and I feel that project is now really starting to progress as I am receiving a lot of cards recently.

I have been to some cities in Brazil, such as Rio and Fortaleza, when I was working on a cruise ship, but never managed to see Brasilia as it is situated in the Brazilian Highlands in the west of the country. The city was founded on 21st April 1960, to move the capital from Rio de Janeiro to a more central location. It was planned and developed by some famous architects of the time,  Lúcio Cost , Oscar Niemeyer and  Roberto Burle Marx. Due to the modernistic architecture, Brasilia was chosen to be an UNESCO world heritage site in 1987.

St. Basil’s Basilika

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This lovely postcard has reached me recently and shows the St. Basil’s Basilika in Moscow. It is also known as the Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat or Pokrovsky Cathedral and is situated on the Red Square. It is a Russian Orthodox Church and one of the most famous buildings in Moscow. It was built in the 16th century on orders from Ivan The Terrible to commemorate the capture of Kazan.

When you have been to Moscow which places did you visit?