Calgary, since 1983
Hats are kind of a big deal to Calgarians. They paint them on the welcome sign, they give them out to dignitaries, they even put them on top of their skyscrapers. So it should come as no surprise that a hat graces the city flag.
(designers: Yvonne Fritz and Gwin Clarke)
Canada (unofficial, c.1873-1896)
The original coat of arms of Canada featured four quarters representing Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. As more provinces joined Confederation, flag manufacturers would add their symbols to the badge on the red ensign, even though the coat of arms was never officially changed. As a result, most flags produced during Canada’s first half-century were unofficial. The badges on these ensigns would often be embellished by large white discs, garlands of maple leaves, and crowns.
The flag makers were so quick to update their designs that they ended up assigning unofficial symbols to new provinces that hadn’t adopted a coat of arms. Before 1906, British Columbia was represented by a royal crest flanked by the letters B and C. And when the province of Alberta was created in 1905, some manufacturers chose to represent it with the unofficial arms that had been designed for the Yukon or the Northwest Territories. As a result, there was year or so where Alberta was inexplicably represented by either a mountain range full of gold or a polar bear.
All of this came to an end in 1921, when a new non-province-based coat of arms was granted to Canada and the red ensign was standardized.
The Canadian flag is simple. Iconic. Sewn to countless backpacks for grand adventures. But our provincial flags? Cluttered messes sewn to nothing by no one going nowhere. Over the next few weeks Steve Murray will be redesigning the flags and you’ll get to vote as to whether the old flag stays or goes!
This is the single most insane flag I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Look at this thing! It’s like a five-year-old drew it in MS Paint. And it seriously actually looks like this in the real world. Here’s a photo to prove it. Alberta is so weird.