A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘flags

[LINK] The National Post on the Patriote flag

leave a comment »

The National Post has a feature from Graeme Hamilton noting the controversy associated in Québec with the flag of the Patriote rebels of 1837.

On May 22, as the rest of Canada celebrates Victoria Day, Quebecers will get a day off in honour of les Patriotes, the 19th-century rebels who fought to bring responsible government to what is now Quebec. It’s no surprise that the mostly French-speaking province isn’t terribly keen on paying tribute to a long-dead British monarch, and such Patriote leaders as Louis-Joseph Papineau, Jean-Olivier Chénier and Wolfred Nelson are worthy of celebration. Yet last week, Quebec’s Liberal government angered nationalists by blocking a proposal to have the Patriote flag fly above the legislature in Quebec City.

Q: Who were the Patriotes?

Charles Alexander Smith via Wikipedia
Charles Alexander Smith via Wikipedia”Assemblée des six-comtés”, a painting depicting the Assembly of the Six Counties, held in Saint-Charles, Lower Canada on October 23 and October 24, 1837
A: The Patriotes was the name given to Papineau’s Parti canadien and the popular movement he and others inspired to rise up against British colonial rule in 1837-38. “The primarily francophone party, led mainly by members of the liberal professions and small-scale merchants, was widely supported by farmers, day-labourers and craftsmen,” the Canadian Encyclopedia says. They advocated democracy and the right to self-government, but at the same time they were in no hurry to get rid of the seigneurial system. After the rebellion was crushed, many participants were imprisoned, exiled or hung.

Q: What is the Patriote flag?

A: The flag was introduced in 1832 by Papineau’s political party and was carried at political speeches and into battle during the rebellion. It is a simple design consisting of three horizontal bars, green, white and red from top to bottom. The flag was seen by the Montreal aristocracy as a revolutionary symbol, and in 1837 the Montreal Herald wrote urging people to destroy it. Some early versions also featured a beaver, a maple leaf or a maskinonge fish. Today, the flag often has the profile of a musket-toting, toque-wearing, pipe-smoking rebel superimposed in the centre.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 16, 2017 at 11:29 pm

[PHOTO] Flag of Prince Edward Island, caught on a breeze

Flag of Prince Edward Island, caught on a breeze #pei #charlottetown #princeedwardisland #canada #flags

This is the best picture I ever took of the flag of Prince Edward Island, adopted in 1964.

The upper third of the flag features the English heraldic lion which appeared both on the coat of arms of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, for whom the province is named, and on that of King Edward VII. The lower two-thirds show an island on which appear three small oak saplings (on the left) – representing the three counties of PEI (Prince, Queens, and Kings) – under the protection of a great oak tree which represents Great Britain. This symbolism is also reflected in the provincial motto, Parva sub ingenti (the small under the protection of the great).

Based upon the Armorial Bearings of Prince Edward Island, the flag contains a gold Heraldic Lion which also appeared on the Coat of Arms for Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (for whom the Province was named) and on that of King Edward VII, who granted the Bearings. Beneath the lion is a single plot of grass representing PEI and England, both of which are islands. Upon the mound of grass stand a mature Oak tree (the official tree of Prince Edward Island) which represents England and three smaller saplings on the left, representing the 3 counties into which Prince Edward Island has been divided since 1767. Framing the flag on the three sides away from the mast are alternating bands of red and white, the official colors of Canada.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 25, 2016 at 10:13 pm

[PHOTO] Flag of Toronto, Bluffer’s Park and Beach

Flag of Toronto #toronto #scarborough #scarboroughbluffs #lakeontario #flags

The flag of Toronto was waving proudly over the entrance to Bluffer’s Park and Beach early this evening.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 9, 2016 at 8:31 pm

[LINK] Wired on the new national flag of New Zealand

Wired‘s Margaret Rhodes writes approvingly of the current front-runner to replace New Zealand’s national flag.

The new flag uses a silver fern frond as its primary motif, instead of the Union Jack, and keeps the four stars that decorate the bottom right corner of the current design. The official alternative flag has quite a campaign behind it: Lockwood has a robust website about the design, complete with information on voting and donating. As for the silver fern, it’s a known icon in New Zealand with roots that trace back to the Māori, the country’s indigenous Polynesian populaton. Māori legend has it that the silver fern once helped hunters and warriors find their way home, by reflecting the moonlight and creating a path through the forest.

On his site, [designer Kyke] Lockwood writes, “the fern is an element of indigenous flora representing the growth of our nation. The multiple points of the fern leaf represent Aotearoa’s,”—the indigenous name for the island country—“peaceful multicultural society, a single fern spreading upwards represents that we are all one people growing onward into the future.” That last bit is some saccharine symbolism, for sure, but that’s hardly uncommon with flag design.

That said, it’s also a smart design. According to experts in vexillology, the study of flag design, a good flag is one you can both recognize immediately and draw from memory. The frond, as a piece of graphic design, makes both possible. It’s almost like a Matisse cut-out in this way: it has a child-like simplicity, but character that won’t be found on another nation’s flag.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 16, 2015 at 4:30 pm

[PHOTO] Disembarking in front of the flags at the Royal York, Toronto

Royal York flags and taxi #toronto #royalyorkhotel #royalyork #flag #flags #taxi canada #unitedstates #ontario #unitedkingdom #unionjack

Cars kept streaming past the front door of Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York, underneath the flags of United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Ontario, and–I assume–the hotel itself.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 8, 2015 at 8:54 am

[PHOTO] Toronto flags on Nathan Philips Square

Toronto flags on the square #toronto #sbnto #flags #cityhall #nathanphilipssquare//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

These Toronto flags were all neatly lined up on the eastern side of Nathan Philips Square early Sunday morning. The Wikipedia description of the flag’s origin and design says what needs to be said.

The original flag of Toronto was designed by Rene De Santis, a 21-year-old George Brown College student, and won in a 1974 competition held by the City of Toronto Flag Design Committee. After the city amalgamated in 1997, the City Council looked for new designs from the public, but did not approve of any. De Santis suggested minor modifications to the original flag, which was adopted in October 1999, to create the current flag. The flag displays the twin towers of the Toronto City Hall on a blue background, with the red maple leaf of the Flag of Canada at its base, representing the Council Chamber at the base of the towers. The shape of the space above and between the towers suggests the letter ‘T’, the city’s initial.

Chris Bateman’s 2012 blogTO post on the subject looks at the birth of the flags and different alternatives to this one.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 5, 2015 at 3:18 pm

[PHOTO] Rainbow and bear flags on Ward’s Island, Toronto

Rainbow and bear flags #toronto #torontoislands #wardsisland #flags #rainbow #bear #lgbt

The wind was not blowing strongly enough for the flags to unfurl, sadly.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 13, 2015 at 5:24 pm