Canada Provincial Flags – Top 10 Fascinating Facts!

The maple leaf symbol on the Canadian Flag, a national symbol since 1868, shows the legacy of Canada. Explore the fascinating facts of Canada Provincial Flags!

A country’s or region’s Flag holds an important position in the story that is carried forward about the region.

The maple leaf symbol on the Canadian Flag is an important symbol that shows the legacy of Canada.

These facts build the province’s reputation and what the history and culture of the province have to preach.

Canada Provincial Flags – Interesting Facts

Here are facts about Canada Provincial Flags, which will make you wonder how such small symbols and figures have to say so much.

1) Ontario Keeping Up With the Union Jack

Photo by Ahmed Abbas on Unsplash

The Union Jack has been the Flag of the U.K. for years. This symbol holds an important place in Canada too. In Canada, it is known as the Royal Union Flag.

The beautiful red Ontario flag features the Union Jack in the Canton. It also has the shield of the coat of arms of Ontario.

The coat of arms symbol reflects a red cross of St. George in the upper part, which represents England reflecting Ontario’s British Heritage.

The shield has a Black Bear on its crest and Moose Dexter and Canadian Deer Sinister as supporters, all 3 being native to Canada. The lower portion of the Flag features three golden maple leaves.

The motto of the shield in Latin means “Loyal she began; Loyal she remains” in English. This shield being important to Ontario is featured on the Canada Provincial Flags of Ontario on a red ensign.

The Flag depicts a modified version of the shield.

2) The Beauty of Fleur-de-lis in Quebec

A white cross adopted from the Royal Flags of the Kingdom of France over a blue background and four white fleurs-de-lis in each quadrant separated by the cross is one of Canada’s provincial and territorial flags. This is the Quebec flag.

Image Source: Google

The white fleurs-de-lis symbolize purity in its most gracious form of a Lily-flower-inspired symbol. The blue field is for honoring the Virgin Mary.

This Flag of Quebec has an official ratio of 2:3, but it is mostly seen in the 1:2 variants so that it matches with the National Flag of Canada when they fly together.

3) The Coat of Arms of Nova Scotia

Canada Provincial Flags
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The coat of arms is a heraldic symbol representing the Nova Scotia Province of Canada, and its modified version is seen in the Canadian provincial flags.

In the arms of Canada, this is the oldest provincial achievement and is also the oldest British coat of arms that has been in use outside Great Britain. Isn’t it amazing?

This coat of arms is blazoned with an Argent, a saltire azure charged with an escutcheon of Scotland’s Royal Arms. These arms were granted by a 1625 King originally. In 1867, they fell out of use and were readopted in 1929 by King George 5.

There is a similarity between the Nova Scotia flag and the Scottish Flag. To your amazement, it is because Nova Scotia means New Scotland in Latin! This Flag has been in use since 1858, but it was recognized as the official provincial Flag only in 2013.

4) A Contrasting Beauty

Millenius on Shutterstock

The Canadian Provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador adopted and officialized their Flag in Canadian Provincial Flags in 1980.

This Newfoundland flag was designed by an artist of Newfoundland itself named Christopher Pratt. The first time it was flown was on Discovery Day, i.e., on June 24, 1980.

This design was adopted for its broad symbolism. The Flag is a mixture of blue, red, and white. The blue depicts the waters of the sea, lakes, and rivers.

The red for human effort in building the society, the white for the snow and ice. It has a streak of golden within it that reflects the confidence of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Icy Canada team talked to Alex Ketty, President of Glow Path Pavers, about how the provincial flags of Canada represent the unique histories and cultures of each region. Here is what he said:

Alex Ketty - Featured
Alex Ketty

“As someone deeply involved with innovative landscaping solutions through Glow Path Pavers, I have a keen interest in how environments and local heritages shape design choices and community identities.

This perspective gives me a unique angle on the provincial and territorial flags of Canada, which are not only symbols of identity but also deeply embedded representations of each region’s history and culture.

For instance, the glow technology in our pavers methodically draws from the unique environmental and cultural characteristics of the locations where they are installed. This is akin to how each Canadian flag reflects its province’s distinct features.

For example, the Nova Scotia flag, with the Scottish Royal Arms, reflects its strong Scottish heritage, mirroring the historical context as powerfully as the use of locally sourced recycled glass in our pavers reflects a commitment to regional materials and sustainability.

This integration of local elements into design and symbolism fosters a strong sense of pride and ownership among residents. In Michigan, we developed the Michigan Collection, inspired by the robust spirit of the state.

This locally-themed offering has not just beautified spaces but also deepened the community’s connection to their environment, similar to how a flag might symbolize local pride and heritage, enhancing community ties and bolstering regional identity.

Through projects across various geographic locales, including regions in Canada, Glow Path Pavers has reinforced the importance of reflecting local characteristics in our products.

This practice contributes to a broader understanding and appreciation of Canadian culture, wherein each region’s unique identity is celebrated and acknowledged, much like the diverse provincial and territorial flags of Canada.”

5) The Provincial Arms of BC

BC flag
Leonid 2, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This is one of the very meaningful Canada Provincial Flags based on British Columbia’s Provincial Arms shield. The British Columbia flag can be divided into two portions, the top half and the bottom half. The Flag was adopted in 1960.

The top half of the Flag is the Royal Union Flag, which has defaced a crown in the center. The bottom half of the Flag is very interesting. It is a setting sun.

This depicts the location of the British Columbia Province which is at the western end of Canada. This sure makes us wonder about symbolism.

Behind the setting sun, there are three wavy blue lines and four wavy white ones. This pattern says that the location of B.C. province is between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains.

The sun reflects the province’s motto, i.e., “Beauty Without Diminish,” loosely translated as the sun that never sets. The Union Flag reflects the British Empire Heritage.

6) The Red and White Bands

Canada Provincial Flags
E Pluribus Anthony, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

After the provincial arms, the Canada Provincial Flags of Prince Edward Island were adopted in 1964.

The Prince Edward Island flag features a gold Heraldic Lion that appeared in the Coat of Arms of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, named the province.

Below, the lion stands on a single plot of grass, representing the Islands of PEI and Great Britain. On the grass mound, a mature red oak tree stands tall.

This is the official tree of Prince Edward Island, and it represents England. Beside this mature tree, there are three small saplings of the same oak tree.

These saplings on the left represent the three counties in which the Island has been separated since 1767. There are also red and white bands on the side, showing Canada’s official colors with pride.

The factual symbolism among the Canadian Provincial Flags is also highlighted in the Province’s motto, “the small under the great protection.”

7) The Golden Glory of Nunavut

Canada Provincial Flags
Kooma (original), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Proclaimed in 1999, the Canada Provincial Flags of Nunavut features a red inuksuk. The inuksuk is a traditional Inuit land marker symbol.

Along with this traditional symbol of the historic Inuit community of Canada, the flag also represents the North Star, Niqirtsuituq. This blue star also symbolizes the leadership of the community elders.

The beautiful contrast of gold and white fields over the 9:16 proportion of the Flag, which is divided vertically with red inuksuk, depicts the riches of the land, sea, and sky with a blue star.

The inuksuk is also a traditional monument made of stone that has been used to guide travelers since old times.

For the development of this Flag, the local artists visited several local communities so that even the public could get the opportunity to give their views on the development of the Flag.

The artists sought cultural and historical inspiration from communities like Rankin Inlet, Cape Dorset, Iqaluit, Pangnirtung, and others.

Get a quick view of the meaning of Canada Provincial Flags from this video.

What Do Canada's Flags Mean?

8) The Distinctive Among the Canadian Provincial Flags

The stunning contrast of yellow, blue, and red in the Canada Provincial Flags of Brunswick is wonderful. The history and facts behind this Flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings that are interesting.

A gold lion starts from the top left corner, which is inspired by the Royal Arms of England and the coat of arms of Brunswick Duchy.

On the other side, there is a lymphad that occupies two-thirds of the bottom. This evokes the new shipbuilding industry of Brunswick that had been in its history once.

It is said that during the American Revolutionary War, shipbuilding was one was Brunswick’s dominant economic activities that started declining.

The Flag, which was developed after, inspires and remembers the richness of that industry.

We interviewed Matthew Appleton, E-commerce manager at Appleton Sweets, about the Canadian provincial flags. Here is what he had to say:

Matthew Appleton - Featured
Matthew Appleton

“In my experience, the various flags representing Canada’s provinces and territories hold personal significance as symbolic representations of their unique histories and cultures.

Through their designs, colors, and symbols, these flags convey important elements of local heritage, geography, and values. 

I take pride in these flags as they visually represent my province or territory, honoring its distinctiveness and contributing to my sense of identity and belonging. They serve as powerful symbols of unity, fostering a strong connection to my home region. 

Moreover, they deepen my understanding of Canadian culture by showcasing the diverse regional identities that collectively shape the country.

They remind me of the rich tapestry of cultures and histories that have influenced my journey and contributed to the collective Canadian identity.”

9) The Dominant Red Ensign

Canada Provincial Flags
Kooma (original) Echando una mano (current), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Manitoba’s Flag among the Canadian Provincial Flags emphasized the Canadian red ensign to maintain its legacy. The red ensign flag was an unofficial flag of the region for a long.

The Flag of Manitoba has a lot of similarities with that of Ontario, hence confused a lot.

The basic difference between the Canadian Provincial flags of Manitoba and Ontario is that Manitoba’s Flag has the arms of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

They utilized this symbol as Hudson’s Bay used to control Canada’s territory known as Manitoba (bounded on the north by the Northwest Territories) today.

The arm has bison on it, which invokes the indigenous peoples as an integral part of their livelihood.

10) The Image of Natural Scenery

Canada Provincial Flags
Kooma (original), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Whenever we are asked to draw natural scenery, we will draw two mountains with a river and a blue sky. The Alberta flag seems similar to this image.

The Flag that Alberta has adopted as its official symbol too. The colors used for the flag are blue and gold, which is also called “Alberta Blue” and “Alberta Gold” at times.

A fact to note about the provincial Flag of Alberta is its quality design.

A survey conducted by the North American Vexillological Association ranked this Flag as 35th in quality of design. This ranking was given out of 72 Canadian Provinces, U.S. states, and the U.S. territorial flags.

If you are wondering about the coat of arms of each province and their significance, read this and get a clarified explanation about it.


These Canada Provincial Flags display gorgeous and colorful beauty when placed all together with the classic maple leaf flag.

Photo by Ryan on Unsplash

They are remembering history and culture and will keep inspiring generations of the provinces to keep the knowledge about their roots forever in their hearts.

Guest Author: Saket Kumar

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