Alberta Flag – Remarkable History And Meaning

Alberta flag

The Alberta flag is the official provincial flag of the province of Alberta in Canada. The Alberta flag is a symbol of the Alberta spirit. The flag is a symbol of the openness and diversity of Alberta. The flag of Alberta is to be cherished and respected. It is a matter of pride and honor for the people of Alberta. Any changes to the flag have to be passed through the Alberta legislative assembly.

Alberta is among the only two land-locked provinces of Canada, with the other being Saskatchewan. It is surrounded by British Columbia on its west and Saskatchewan on its east. Montana state of United States of America surrounds the state to its south while Northwest Territories cover it up on the Northside. It is located in the western part of Canada. The eastern part of Alberta is arable land, but its western part is mountainous. Alike all other Canadian provinces and territories, Alberta also has its own unique flag.

Alberta is the sixth-largest Canadian province in terms of area and is home to nearly four million Canadian people. The province was named after Princess Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. The region is rich in natural resources. Alberta has several mines as a great source of employment generation for the people of the region. The capital of Alberta in Edmonton, although Calgary is the most populous city.

History Of Alberta Flag

Alberta flag

Photo by Kym Mackinnon, Unsplash, copyright 2021

When Alberta became a state in 1905, it had not authorized its flag. But with growing time, the demand for a separate flag kept rising. People saw an opportunity in the upcoming centennial celebration of the Canadian confederation as a means to get their desire for a provincial flag fulfilled. Common people wrote petitions to Premier Ernest Charles Manning. In November 1966, petitions from social credit women’s auxiliaries of the Alberta social credit league were submitted to the premier. All these petitions called for the right of Alberta to have its provincial flag.

Eventually, on January 17, 1967, the flag was approved and adopted by the Alberta legislature. The flag had the shield in blue background. The shield had a St. George’s cross on top of it and a landscape consisting of snowy mountains, hills, and prairie land on a wheat background. The flag of Alberta serves as its official symbol since then.

Evolution of The Alberta Flag

The Alberta Flag, as we see it, has evolved over a period to come to the present form. Originally, a Coat Of Arms was devised from which a Provincial shield was devised. When this shield was put on a blue background, the Alberta Flag was born.

Coat Of Arms

The Coat of Arms was originally devised in 1907 by a royal warrant. Over the years, modifications have been made to the Coat as per the desires of the people. In the year 1980, modifications were made to add a crest, supporters, and a motto to it. The modifications were given Royal Warrant on July 30 of the same year.

The Coat of Arms carries the provincial motto of ‘Fortis et Liber.’ It means strong and free. The crest of the Coat of Arms has a crown upon a beaver. The beaver sits on a helmet with a red and silver wreath. The supporters on both sides of the shield are a gold lion and the pronghorn Antelope.

The Coat is not a free emblem, and its use is restricted. If you want to use the emblem, you need to have the permission of the Minister of Cultural, Multiculturalism, and Status of Women.

The Provincial Shield

The Shield of the Coat of Arms was adopted as a separate official emblem. It came to be known as the Provincial Shield. This shield can be divided into three different parts. The top part of this emblem has St. George’s Cross over it. The cross is red, and its background is white. The middle part of the Shield has snow-capped mountains above green hills. The skies are blue, and there are prairie lands below the hills. The wheat field is illustrated at the bottom of the shield in deep yellow.

The common public is permitted to use this emblem with just one condition. The condition is that there should be no alterations in the emblem.

Alberta Flag

Alberta flag

Photo by Filmbetrachter, pixabay, copyright 2021

The Alberta flag was adopted on June 1, 1968. Alberta flags carry the provincial shield on a blue background. The shield lies in the middle of the blue background. The ideal ratio of the Alberta flags is 1:2. In an ideal flag, the shield’s height has to be 7/11 of the flag’s height.

The flag was last confirmed and given legal protection by the ‘Emblems of Alberta Act’ of 1980. Although the shield was modified to include a crest, supporters, and a motto, the same was not added to the flag. Alberta has its provincial legislature authorized to make any changes to the official emblem in this regard.

The two most prominent colors of the flag, blue and gold, are regarded as the provincial colors of Alberta. Blue is referred to as Alberta blue, and gold is Alberta gold.

Meaning Of The Alberta Flag

Alberta flag

Photo by Clker Free Vector Images, Pixabay, copyright 2021

Each of the components of the Alberta flag has its own significance.

  • The red cross at the top of the shield is St. George’s Cross. It is a reference to King George III, and It is a reminder of the British heritage. It may be noted that Alberta was previously a British colony. The cross is red and on a white background.
  • The snow-capped mountains represent the Rocky mountains. The Rocky Mountains are in the western part of the province. Owing to its height, the mountains remain covered with snow for most of the time.
  • The green foothills beneath the snow-capped mountains represent the rich flora diversity of the province. The green color of foothills is indicative of the forests. It denotes the importance of these foothills in the forestry occupation of the people of Alberta.
  • Beneath the foothills, there are prairie lands in Alberta. These are denoted by small shrubs on the shield. The prairie lands of Canada are arable and fertile. Among the three prairie provinces of Canada, Alberta is the most populous.
  • The wheat fields appear at the bottom of the shield of the flags in Alberta. They signify the huge amount of wheat that is produced in Alberta. It also conveys the importance of agriculture in the Alberta province.

Flag of The Lieutenant Governor

The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta has their personal flag. The LG is the crown’s representative to the province of Alberta. When the flag is displayed, it implies that His Honour is in the province.

The flag is put on the roof of the legislature building besides the flag of Alberta, the Canadian flag, and the royal union flag. The Governor-General of Canada approved the flag on September 28, 1981.

The flag is roughly the same as that of Alberta, the noticeable difference being the tapered shape of the shield. Also, the flag of the Lt. Governor has a crown over the shield. This crown signifies that he is the representative of the crown, Queen Elizabeth. The additional feature of this flag is that ten golden maple leaves surround the shield of Alberta.

Flag Etiquette

alberta flag

Photo by Daven Froberg, Unsplash, copyright 2021

Flags are the symbol of pride and respect. The flag of Alberta is its honor, and you need to keep it up. There are certain rules and regulations that you need to follow for the proper usage of the flag. The flags have to be raised at hail mast during the following cases of deaths:

  • Death of the monarch or a member of the immediate royal family,
  • The Governor-general of Canada,
  • The former Governor-general of Canada,
  • The Prime minister of Canada,
  • The Federal cabinet minister from Alberta,
  • The Premier and
  • The Cabinet minister of Alberta.

The flags would be required to be at half-mast from the day of notification of the death. They remain half-mast till the funeral or memorial service for the departed soul does not take place. The flag can be hosted at half-mast at the following places on the advice of the Alberta protocol office:

  • Legislature building,
  • McDougall Centre,
  • Government of Alberta locations, and
  • Provincial correctional facilities.

In addition to these, the flag has to be flown at half-mast at the following dates:

  • April 9 is the national day for remembrance of Vimy Ridge.
  • April 28 is the national day for mourning those who died at the workplace.
  • June 23 is the national day for remembrance for those who died of terrorism.
  • November 11 is Remembrance day.
  • December 6 is the national day for Remembrance and action on violence against Women.

As per the established norms, the Canadian flag must be blown at full mast at Victoria Day and Canada Day. All flags will have to be raised at sunrise and lowered at sunset unless they are illuminated.

The Alberta provincial flag forms the identity of Alberta. It is an important part of the heritage and must be respected and felt proud upon.

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