Ontario (unofficial), 1962-1965
When the Garden of the Provinces in Ottawa was opened in 1962, a set of unofficial flags were made to represent the country’s provinces and territories. Each flag had a provincial shield on a plain coloured background. The colours were arbitrary. Some were white, some red, some blue; PEI’s was green and Ontario’s was yellow. The flags soon spread beyond the garden and effectively became unofficial provincial flags.
Already in 1962 there were four provinces with flags of their own. By the end of the decade every province had one. But despite provincial reservations, the federal government continued flying the plain coloured flags until the mid 1970s. When Alberta finally adopted its flag in 1968 it just went with the plain blue flag from Ottawa, making it the last survivor of a weird and somewhat unloved group of Canadian flag designs.
An old flag of Edam-Volendam, The Netherlands. The bull and the foal are local emblems. Though this diagonally quartered flag was adopted in 1981, it was never used.
Samoa, since 1949
Samoa’s flag is based on the red ensign that was used during the British-administered League of Nations mandate. When the country became a UN Trust Territory after World War II, it replaced the British flag in the corner with a Southern Cross.
Even though all the overtly foreign symbols are gone, the colonial roots of the flag are still clearly visible. In recent years, opposition MPs have proposed changing the flag for this reason, but the idea hasn’t gotten much traction.
I did this myself so cute love em great for summer
Nunavik (proposed), 2013
A bold proposal for the flag of Nunavik (an Inuit region in northern Quebec) made the news up north last week. There’s a lot of symbolism packed in here so I’ll let the designer explain in his own words:
The logo is based on and inspired from natural elements in Nunavik such as animals and the thriving co-existence of different creatures living in the same area. A shape of a bird with feathers reaching the sky indicate self-governance and freedom, the large wings show strength, the number of feathers correlate with the number of communities in Nunavik, both sides of the shape are symmetric promoting equality, and the dot represent a head and a mind fully supported by the body.
Two sides of the top part contain 5 fingers each as do our hands, the symbol can be seen as a person reaching upwards to pull himself up and forward. The shape is also inspired by caribou antlers growing alongside one another so they may be able to secure the caribou’s life.
I like this a whole lot. I think it’s one of the best pieces of flag design I’ve seen in ages. It feels almost like an Inuit version of Japanese logo-based flag design. Very striking, very unique, and I think it would look great up on a flagpole.
(designer: Thomassie Mangiok)
Just in case you were wondering, this flag belongs to THE GOVERNOR.
Nova Scotia, since 1858
Nova Scotia has the oldest provincial flag in Canada (older than the country itself!) but it will only become official this year, thanks largely to the efforts of a grade 5 student. 11-year-old Regan Parker discovered during a research project that the flag of Nova Scotia had never been recognized by the provincial legislature. She brought the oversight up to her local MLA and he introduced the Provincial Flag Act, which passed its Third Reading this past Thursday.
The flag is a banner of Nova Scotia’s coat of arms, first granted all the way back in 1625. Other provinces have heraldic banners for flags, but Nova Scotia is the only one that never bothered with any kind of official authorization. Instead the public just kind of started using it on their own, beginning with the Nova Scotia Philanthropic Society in 1858 and continuing more or less uninterrupted to the present day.
Ascension Island, since 2013
Four years after it started looking for one, Ascension finally has a flag of its own. The tiny South Atlantic island forms a single overseas territory with Saint Helena (1300km away) and Tristan da Cunha (3200km away). Until the flag raising on Saturday, it was the last British possession without a flag (excluding the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus).
The final version is a lot like the proposal I reported last year, but the scroll has been removed and a helmet with green and white mantling has been added.
Governor of Alabama, since 1939
The governor of Alabama flies the state flag defaced with the state coat of arms and military crest. The arms are a composite of five flags: French, Castilian, British, Confederate, and American.
University of North Texas, since 1986
This is a variation on the Texas state flag done up in UNT’s green and white colour scheme. It was first created as a decorative item for the university president’s podium, and it can be now be seen flying around campus.
(designer: Jim Hobdy)