Nunatsiavut, since 2003
Nunatsiavut is an autonomous Inuit region in northern Labrador, not to be confused with the nearby the territory of Nunavut. Like Nunavut, Nunatsiavut has an inukshuk on its flag. It’s rendered in the white, green, and blue of Labrador’s flag.
I’ve always thought this flag looks a bit funny. Almost like the individual rocks have a “waving flag” effect drawn on top of them or something.
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.
Today is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday which commemorates the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla. This is obviously a big deal in the state Puebla, which proudly carries the date right in the middle of its coat of arms.
Like most all Mexican sates, Puebla has no official flag. Instead a white field with the state coat of arms on it is widely used.
Canadian Army, since 1998
The Canadian flag doesn’t often appear on other flags, but all three branches of the Canadian Forces have adopted ensigns that put the national flag up in the corner. The jack of the Royal Canadian Navy came first in 1968, followed by the Royal Canadian Air Force ensign in 1985, and finally the flag of the Canadian Army in 1998. The flag includes the army’s badge, which was adopted at the same time.
Americana, until 1998
Brazil is home to a small population of Confederados, descendants of Confederates who fled to Brazil in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Most of the immigrants settled in the neighbouring cities of Americana and Santa Bárbara d’Oeste, in the state of São Paulo.
Americana’s former flag and coat of arms were inspired by the Confederate Battle Flag. The symbol was removed in 1998, not for any political reason (it’s not as controversial down there), but rather because the Confederados now only make up 10% of the city’s population.
José de San Martín personally designed Peru’s first national flag. Legend has it he was inspired by a flock of Andean flamingos in flight. In March 1822 this flag was replaced by a more standard design, a horizontal tricolour of red-white-red with a sun in the middle. That flag proved too easy to confuse with the Spanish flag, so the bars were rotated. The sun was replaced by the Peruvian coat of arms in 1825, resulting in the current design.
(designer: José de San Martín)
Coclé, since 2004
It’s been a long road for the flag of Panama’s Coclé province. First created in 1995, the flag came before the provincial government in 2002 but languished in debate as lawmakers quibbled over whether their specific corners of the province were adequately represented. It was finally adopted in 2004, but it seems to have not been officially raised until November 2012. I’m not sure where this eight year delay came from but it might have been relate to a dispute over whether it was appropriate for a Panamanian province to even have its own flag.
The flag is pretty rich in symbolism: White is the colour of milk, sugar, and cream. It represents fertility. Red is the colour of tomatoes. It represents pride, warmth, love, and the blood shed by patriots like Victoriano Lorenzo. Gray is the colour of smoke. It represents business and industry. The six diamonds symbolize natural wealth. They also stand for the six districts of the province, arranged in a pyramid to show strength.
With a distinct pattern and a unique colour scheme, the design of Coclé’s flag is truly terrific. It took the province long enough to embrace the symbol, but at the end of the day they wound up with something they can really be proud of.
(designer: Nixa Gnaegi de Ríos)
Vladimir Oblast (1999-Present)
Several of the federal subjects of Russia have flags inspired by the old flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Vladimir is the most blatant of these, including a hammer and sickle on the pale blue stripe.
2004 was a big year for Mostar. In addition to the opening of the reconstructed Old Bridge, it also saw High Representative Paddy Ashdown dissolve Mostar’s six municipalities into one big city. The new municipality adopted a new flag and a new coat of arms, featuring the new Old Bridge. The flag also features a light gray diagonal stripe, which gives the entire thing a kind of pale muted look. Definitely fits with the city’s colour scheme though.
Alba Iulia (?-Present)
Wikipedia has an interesting image from 1968 which appears to be a painted over black and white photo of a crowd from 1918, and the flags they’re flying have the Romanian colours arranged vertically instead of horizontally.
I cannot get over some of these Basque flags. Look at the colours on this one, it’s unreal.
A bunch of municipalities in Biscay province adopted flags in the previous decade. Zierbena was one of them, and while they chose a rather conventional coat-of-arms-on-a-plain-field design, they made the unconventional choice of putting it on a brown background.
…Also is that a picnic basket?
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.