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.

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.

Flag of Serbia

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Thanks to Una from Belgrade, I did receive the flag of Serbia on a postcard.

The flag of Serbia is a tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal bands, red on the top,blue in the middle and white on the bottom. The same tricolour, in altering variations, has been used since the 19th century as the flag of the state of Serbia and the Serbian nation. The current form of the flag was officially adopted on November 11, 2010.

Flag of Lithuania

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This wonderful and colourful flag card has arrived today from Leeds. Thanks to Laima who generously agreed to swap some cards with me and will complete Lithuania with postcards of the flag and from Vilnius. Looking forward to it.

The flag of Lithuania is actually a very young flag compare to many other European countries. The flag of Lithuania consists of a horizontal tricolour of yellowgreen and red. It was re-adopted on March 20, 1989, almost two years before the re-establishment of Lithuania’s independence following the end of the Soviet Union and the end of the Soviet occupation of 1944-1991. It was first used in Lithuania’s first period of independence (in the 20th century) from 1918-1940, which ceased with the occupation first by Soviet Russia and Lithuania’s illegal annexation into the Soviet Union, and then by Nazi Germany (1941-44). This flag (1918-40) had lighter colours. During the post-WW2 Soviet occupation, from 1945 until 1989, the Soviet Lithuanian flag consisted first of a generic red Soviet flag with the name of the republic, then changed to the red flag with white and green bars at the bottom. The last alteration to the current flag occurred in 2004 when the aspect ratio changed from 1:2 to 3:5. The flag is identical to the flag of the Danish island Ærø, also located by the Baltic Sea.

St. George’s Flag

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The St. George’s Flag or the Cross of St. George is the official flag of England. The red cross on a white background is associated with Saint George since the time of the crusades.

The association of the red cross as an emblem of England can be traced back to the Middle Ages, and it was used as a component in the design of the Union Flag in 1606; however, the English flag has no official status within the United Kingdom. Since the 1990s it has been in increasingly wide use, particularly at national sporting events.

 

The oldest tricolour flag

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The flag of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It looks really pink in this scan but it is supposed to be red. Did you actually know that this flag was the first ever tricolour flag in the world (1572). This is a long time back in history.

The horizontal fesses are bands of equal size in the colours, from top to bottom, red (officially described as a “brightvermilion“), white (silver), and blue (“cobalt blue“). The flag proportions (width:length) are 2:3. The first stadtholder of the Dutch Republic was William I of Orange, who joined with Dutch nationalists and led the struggle for independence from Spain. Partly out of respect for him, the first flag adopted by the Dutch was a horizontal tricolour of orange, white, and blue. It became known as the Prinsenvlag (“Prince’s flag“) and was based on the livery of William of Orange. The orange dye was particularly unstable and tended to turn red after a while, so in the mid-17th century, red was made the official colour. The flag has flown since then, but was confirmed by Royal Decree only in 1937, at the same time the colour parameters were exactly defined. As the first revolutionary flag, it has had a seminal influence throughout the world, particularly on the Pan-Slavic colours of Russia. Until about 1800, in the case of both the orange- and the red-striped versions, the number of stripes and their order frequently varied.

There are many similar flags using the same colours or layout, for example Russia, France, Croatia, Luxembourg, Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Paraguay. Some of them are accidentally similar some are actually to be proven similar for a very specific reason. However, it is sad that the orange is gone from the flag as is it such a distinctive colour and still proudly used by fans from all over world to represent their heritage and nation.

Siniristilippu

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This postcard shows the flying Finnish National Flag. A very simple design but beautiful. It is also very easy to remember as the colours already show that it is a cold country. And here is a bit about the history and meaning of this flag.

The flag of Finland (FinnishSuomen lippuSwedishFinlands flagga), also called siniristilippu (“Blue Cross Flag”), dates from the beginning of the 20th century. On a white background, it features a blue Nordic cross, which represents Christianity.The state flag has a coat of arms in the centre, but is otherwise identical to the civil flag. The swallow-tailed state flag is used by the military. The presidential standard is identical to the swallow-tailed state flag but also has in its upper left corner the Cross of Liberty after the Order of the Cross of Liberty, which has the President of Finland as its Grand Master. Like Sweden’s, Finland’s national flag is based on the Scandinavian cross. It was adopted after independence from Russia, when many patriotic Finns wanted a special flag for their country, but its design dates back to the 19th century. The blue coloring is said to represent the country’s thousands of lakes and the sky, with white for the snow that covers the land in winter.