This is the chapter on the Head of State from the book,
The Flags of Canada, by Alistair B. Fraser.
This work is copyrighted. All rights reserved.


The Nation
Chap II:


I believe in Canada, with pride in her past,
belief in her present and faith in her future.
Vincent Massey, First
Canadian-born Governor General


Canada is a constitutional monarchy, and so its head of state is the monarch, the authority of whom has been delegated almost completely to the governor general since 1947. The office is almost as old as the country: Champlain, who served in 1627 has been followed by over sixty governors.2 Whereas the prime minister, as head of government, speaks for the political majority; the governor general, as head of state, speaks for the whole country.

The flag of the governor general of Canada takes precedence over all other flags in Canada, excepting that of the monarch. When, at noon on February 15, 1965, the Canadian Red Ensign was lowered and the Maple Leaf flag was raised, the ceremony took place using an especially erected pole just to the east of the Peace Tower. Overhead, the Peace Tower wore the flag of the governor general (Georges Vanier) who officiated.3

Before Confederation, the various governors and governors general often used either the monarch's Royal Standard, to indicate that their authority was derived from the monarch, or the Union Flag (popularly known as the Union Jack). Although the Royal Standard technically was the personal standard of the ruling sovereign, this was an age when sovereigns so personified the state that their banners would be used wherever their authority extended. The modern practice, formalized at the beginning of the twentieth century, restricts the use of the Royal Standard to those occasions when the sovereign is personally present.4

After Confederation (actually after 1870), separate flags represented the monarch and the governor general. Like that of the sovereign, the flag of the governor general is only to be flown to mark his or her presence.

From the time of the inception of heraldry in the twelfth century, monarches and others in authority, have used coats of arms to identify themselves, their authority, and their jurisdiction. The royal armorial banner, which results when the design on the shield of the royal arms is spread over a rectangular flag, is commonly referred to as the Royal Standard. Over the centuries, the Royal Standard changed in response to changes in the royal arms which, in turn, reacted to changing jurisdictions. When used to represent the child of a reigning monarch, a label and sometimes another shield was added.


Flags of Monarches and Governors during the French Period

When Jacques Cartier traded with the Indians of the Gaspé in 1534, he also erected a nine-metre high cross upon which was hung a "Shield with three Floure de Luces in it, and in the toppe was carued in the wood with Anticke letters this posie, VIVE LE ROY DE FRANCE."5 Cartier had raised the shield of the royal arms of France.

The royal Bannière de France [Banner of France], also known as the Bannière Fleurdelisé, based on these arms displayed three golden fleurs-de-lis on a blue field. However, modern artistic renditions aside, there is no evidence that Cartier ever made use of this, or any other flags. Indeed, the French practice from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries was to assert territorial possession by planting the royal arms rather than a flag.6

The Bannière might have been appropriate for Champlain to have used as the governor of the colony of New France, but it was falling out of favour at that time and Champlain appears to have used a related flag. In his drawing of Québec, called the ABITATION DE QVEBECQ, Champlain shows a swallowtail pennant bearing fleurs-de-lis, which, although somewhat similar to the Bannière, has a shape more characteristic of French battlefield standards of the day.7 However, Champlain's ships seemed to have borne the flag of the French merchant marine, presumably because his interests were primarily commercial.8 Bearing a white cross on a blue field, this flag was also used on forts.

In the first half of the seventeenth century, the French navy adopted a white flag. By 1656 the white flag appeared on forts in New France,9 and from then to the end of the French period it remained an important symbol of authority.10 Although not an exclusive flag of the governors, if any flag at all served to identify their authority from the mid-1600s on, it is likely that either this flag did, or else a version of it which bore the arms of France did.


British Royal Standards in Canada

Although today, the Royal Standard is only used to indicate the presence of the sovereign, in the nineteenth century its use was much more extensive. It was flown on government buildings, it accompanied the visits of members of the royal family, and it was used capriciously as a decoration.

The Royal Standard seemed to have been used on legislative buildings early in the century simply as a sign of authority. It was flying on the legislative buildings in York, Upper Canada, where the Americans captured it on April 27, 1813, just before torching the buildings. This standard, preserved among the American battle trophies at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, is the Hanoverian version in use at the time.11 A half century later, the architectural drawings for the new Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa showed a Royal Standard flying over the Victoria Tower (the equivalent of the Peace Tower on the pre-1916 Parliament Buildings). By this time, the present Royal Standard was in use. Consisting of a quartering of the arms of England, Scotland and Ireland, it had been adopted upon the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.

Extensive use of the Royal Standard was made on ships, buildings, and in parades during the 1860 visit of Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII). For example, on his visit to Brockville, both the Prince and the governor general were preceded in the procession by the Prince's standard, the Royal Standard, and the Union Flag. The Prince's standard was just the Royal Standard with the escutcheon of Wales in the centre along with a label indicative of the heir to the throne. There was extensive informal use of the Royal Standard as a decoration indoors and on streets during the visit.

The decorative use of the Royal Standard continued in Canada during Queen Victoria's two Jubilee celebrations of 1887 and 1897, and during the visit the Duke of Cornwall and York (subsequently George V) in 1901. Again, patriotic feeling and devotion toward the royal family took precedence over flag protocol which frowned on this promiscuous use of a royal banner.

Upon accession to the throne in 1901, Edward VII restricted the use of the Royal Standard, which was now returned to its place as the personal flag of the monarch. During the visit of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) in 1919, the standard flown by the Prince was the same as that used during the 1860 visit of the earlier Prince of Wales.

In 1939, accompanied everywhere by the Royal Standard, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth made a triumphant tour across the nation. It was the first time a reigning monarch had set foot on Canadian soil, and the first time the sovereign had opened a Canadian Parliament. When Princess Elizabeth visited Canada in 1951, she used the Royal Standard defaced with a label indicating that she was the King's daughter. However, when she returned as Queen in 1957 and 1959, she used the traditional Royal Standard.


The Standard of Canada and the Queen's Personal Flag for Canada

Just as the Royal Standard is a banner of the Royal Arms, so too the Standard of Canada is a banner of the Arms of Canada. However, as Canada did not have its own arms before 1921, it did not have a standard prior to that time. Nevertheless, the nation had been using a quartering of the arms of the four original provinces as if they were arms and, as a result, a banner made from those arms was sometimes referred to as the Standard of Canada. Whether this informal standard was ever used for any official function prior to 1921 is a matter for speculation.

Following 1921, the new armorial banner could be used as the Standard of Canada, but no immediate use for it seemed to emerge. It might have been appropriate as the flag of the Governor General, but his flag had evolved in a much different way, starting, as it did, as a strictly maritime flag. It appears that the first use of the Standard of Canada had to wait until 1937 when it represented Canada at the coronation of King George VI. This usage reflected more than the simple availability of the Standard: it was an acknowledgment of Canada having become an independent nation.

Although Canada had emerged from the First World War with a much greater effective independence, it was the Statute of Westminster in 1931 which converted what had been de facto into what was de jure. The Empire was evolving into the Commonwealth. Correspondingly, during the coronation of George VI, the Standard of Canada was carried in the procession and accorded the same honours as the older standards of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Again, at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, the Standard of Canada represented the nation. On both of these occasions, the maple leaves on the Standard were green.

Canada is a nation of political evolution rather than revolution; only gradually would its symbols for the Crown change to show the new political reality. Immigration had brought new Canadians from all over the globe, few of whom had any commitment to the old Imperial connection. Then the 1960s brought the winds of change, first in Quebec and then through the rest of the land.

Queen Elizabeth was aware of the changing political climate in Canada, and, as a result, began the process of making the royal symbols for Canada reflect her status as Queen of Canada. In 1962, the Queen's Personal Canadian Flag was adopted and then used first during the royal visit in 1964. Based upon the Standard of Canada, the Queen's personal Canadian flag is charged in the centre with Her Majesty's own insignia in gold on a blue field. The insignia takes the form of the initial E surmounted by Saint Edward's crown, all within a chaplet of Tudor roses.

This new personal flag for the Queen of Canada has been seen throughout the provinces and territories for Queen Elizabeth has visited Canada often during her reign. The flag is flown both day and night on any building in which the Queen resides. During a royal visit, the first glimpse of the royal party is often the flag on the car in which the Queen is riding.


Flags of Governors during the British Period

It is likely that the various governors, lieutenant-governors and governors general of the British colonies in North America made some use of the Royal Standard. If post-Confederation practice can be taken as guide, the Royal Standard would have been "flown at Government House on the Queen's Birthday, and on the day of Her Majesty's Accession and Coronation."12

Most often, it seems, governors used the Union Flag. At the time, the Union Flag was seen as an extension of royal authority; it had yet to assume the role it was to gain in the early twentieth century as the unofficial flag of the British people. Yet, although governors exercised vice-regal authority, their use of the Union Flag was appropriate only on land. Maritime use of the Union Flag was restricted to warships.13 No other use was allowed. In 1869, the Lords of the Admiralty complained that a "great inconvenience has at times been experienced by the Union Jack having been carried in boats and other vessels by Governors of Colonies,"14 and therein lay the reason for the creation of a special flag for the governor general for use at sea. Not even he was allowed to usurp the Royal Navy's exclusive use of the Union Flag at sea.


The Flag of the Governor General since Confederation:


In 1861, Viscount Monck became the governor of the Province of Canada, the shaky union of Canada West and Canada East. In 1867, he found himself the governor general of the Dominion of Canada: a confederation of Ontario (Canada West), Quebec (Canada East), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. The following year brought the granting of arms to each of the four provinces, but not to the Dominion, itself. Then, in 1869, came the authorization to create a distinguishing flag for the governor general:

We further submit that Governors of Your Majesty's Dominions in Foreign parts, and Governors of all ranks and denominations administering the Governments of British Colonies and dependencies be authorized to fly the Union Jack with the Arms or Badge of the Colony emblazoned in the centre thereof.15

The Canadian Privy Council took this as an opportunity not only to design the flag, but to have that design formally approved by Her Majesty's government (although this latter step was optional).

The flag to be produced was significant; it was the first official, distinctively Canadian flag. Further, the badge being designed would undoubtedly serve to represent the country for many years to come. Peter Mitchell, the man charged with producing the design, was one of the Fathers of Confederation. A lawyer from New Brunswick, he had not only been a delegate to the Charlottetown, Québec, and Westminster conferences, he was the pre-Confederation premier of that province. He had been an ardent supporter of Confederation and of Sir John A. Macdonald. Upon Confederation, he was appointed a senator from New Brunswick and entered the Macdonald cabinet as the Minister of Marine and Fisheries.16 Presumably, the design had been left to Peter Mitchell because, as conceived, the flag was for use at sea.

Mitchell responded with:

a design of a Flag for the Governor General of Canada showing the Arms [sic] of the Dominion emblazoned on a White or Grey shield, surrounded with a wreath or Garland of Maple leaves surmounted by the Crown in the Centre of the Union Jack.

The Canadian privy council submitted this design on February 28, 1870, and on July 16, 1870, it was approved by Lord Kimberly, Secretary of State for the Colonies.

The mention of the "Arms of the Dominion" in the description was early evidence of a confusion that would last for the next forty years. The Dominion had no arms, but in 1868, when the four founding provinces were granted arms, the warrant stated:

And We are further pleased to declare that the said United Provinces of Canada, being one Dominion under the name of Canada, shall, upon all occasions that may be required, use a common Seal, to be called the 'Great Seal of Canada,' which said seal shall be composed of the arms of the said Four Provinces quarterly.17

It was this composite, or quartering, of the arms of the original provinces that was now being referred to as the arms of the Dominion. However, the warrant had not granted this device as the dominion arms, but as a design for the great seal of Canada. Seals and arms are not the same thing. Indeed, at no time in Canada's history has its great seal been merely a representation of its arms. Despite the warrant, when the governor general received the great seal in early 186918 he found that it did not bear the quartered provincial arms, all of which did not stop everyone from treating the quartered provincial arms as if they were the arms of the Dominion of Canada.

Actually, whether or not these quartered arms were the arms of the Dominion was irrelevant from the point of view of the flag of the governor general. Either arms or a badge suited the purpose and the quartered provincial arms formed an satisfactory badge.

Mitchell's design for the flag of the governor general had another interesting feature. The admiralty requirements were that the badge on the governor's flag should be placed within a green garland, and this was always understood to be of laurel.19 Mitchell, however, specified maple, and so maple it was. He had not had to look any farther than the coins in his pocket for this inspiration; they bore a wreath of maple leaves tied with a ribbon and surmounted by St. Edward's crown. The design had been introduced to the coins of the Province of Canada in 1858 and adopted for the coins of New Brunswick in 1862.20 This pattern was transferred unchanged to the flag of the governor general.21

Thus this first official, and distinctive Canadian flag had a garland of maple leaves in the centre; ninety-five years later, the National Flag bore a single maple leaf in the centre. Fortunately, at least one copy of this inaugural flag has survived.22 Unhappily, although it is preserved in very good condition, the manufacturer had not followed the prescription very carefully, for the garland is half of maple and half of oak.

The crown above the quartered arms and the garland served to indicate that not only was the governor general the representative of the Crown, but also he was also appointed by the Crown.23 At the same time that the flag of the governor general was approved, so were the flags of the four lieutenant-governors. Their flags, did not bear the crown, for although a lieutenant-governor is also a representative of the Crown, he was appointed by the federal government, not the sovereign.

The simple act of placing a crown on the flag of the governor general had a number of curious consequences, one of which was that it caused the flag to change slightly after 1901. The crown used in the Victorian era was the St. Edward's crown, identifiable by its depressed arches. Upon the accession of Edward VII in 1901, a crown with raised arches, often called the Tudor crown, was adopted for all representations and so a corresponding change occurred in the flag of the governor general.

Further, as we will see in the discussion of the Canadian Red Ensigns, many informal designs were strongly influenced by the flag of the governor general, and so the crowns on those changed in 1901 also. Before leaving the discussion of the warrant that produced the flags of the governor general and the four lieutenant-governors, it is worth noting that it also produced the Canadian blue ensign.

The existence of an official flag for the governor general had an incongruous result: a magazine glibly asserted it to be what it was not. The incident involved the Canadian Illustrated News24. This normally excellent weekly, published what it offered as the "the true nature and character of the flags assigned to the Dominion" in May of 1871. Unfortunately, not a single one of the seven flags, either illustrated or discussed, was correct. Particularly outrageous was the flag purported as being that of the governor general, even though we are assured that the illustration was "founded on information drawn from the highest official sources." The illustration did show the badge, but placed it in the centre of the British white ensign. One can only guess what prompted this odd result: possibly the editor had been informed that the badge was placed on the naval flag, and chose to place it on the ensign worn at the stern of a ship rather than the jack worn at the bow.

These illustrations not only caused mischief in the use of the ensigns, but it also prompted the manufacture and use of the aberrant flag for the governor general. Thus, when the Earl of Dufferin, the Dominion's third governor general, visited Montréal in February 11, 1878, this flag was used at his reception at the Windsor Hotel.25

The flag of the governor general was initiated to avoid confusion at sea, and certainly official regulations of the day would have confined it to ships. Approved by the Governor-in-Council, the Regulations and Orders for the Militia, Canada, 1883, prescribed the practice on days when the Royal Standard was not to be used:

The Union Flag without the Badge ... shall be flown at Government House from sunrise to sunset.... The Union Flag, with the approved Arms or Badge ... shall be used by Governors, [and] Lieutenant Governors ... when embarked in boats or other vessels.26

Regulations are one thing; usage is another. Soon the governor general's flag began to appear over Government House (Rideau Hall). Thus, some of the present usage of the flag on land had developed by the end of the nineteenth century as seen in the remarks of an observer in 1894:

Over Government House, or other official residence for the time being, the Governor-General flies a plain Union Jack, with the Dominion arms on a shield in the centre, and Her Majesty's ships are ordered to hoist the same at the mast-head when he is on board.... To the writer, it would seem evident that this is the flag which should fly over the Parliament Building, when His Excellency opens the session in person, but such is not the usage.27

Apart from the change in the crown in the badge in 1901, the flag of the governor general remained the same until 1922 when a new badge was approved based on the 1921 grant of arms for Canada. The shield differed slightly from the present version in that the maple leaves were green and the harp bore the bust of a woman.

The transition to the arms of Canada on the flag of the governor general paralleled a transition in the role of the governors general. Although they were empowered to govern according to the wishes of the Canadian prime minister in all internal issues, until the First World War, they were obliged to acknowledge British policy in external relations. Up until 1914, the diplomatic unity of the British Empire had been maintained with Canada having no share in the external matters of declaring war, making peace, appointing diplomatic agents, or participating in international conferences.

Now that pattern was broken; the arms and their use on the flag of the governor general and on ensigns were appropriate symbols of this. Canada had emerged from the war with a increased sense of national awareness and independence. The considerable contributions made during the war had earned it participation in the Paris Peace Conference of 1918 and membership in the League of Nations in 1919.


The Flag of the Governor General since Confederation:


The gains in Canadian independence during the First World War were consolidated and extended in the following decade. Addressing the status of the dominions, the Imperial Conference of 1926 adopted the Belfour declaration:

They are autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.28

Finally, with the request and consent of the dominions, the Statute of Westminster was passed on December 12, 1931, giving legal force to the declaration. No longer did the governor general represent the British government; now he solely represented the sovereign. This change in status called for a corresponding change in the flag. Actually, the change had been planned for some time; King George V had personally proposed the new design as early as 1928.29 It became official February 25, 1931, nearly a year before the Statute was passed.

To show his exclusive relation with the Crown, the flag of the governor general now bore the crest from the royal arms in the centre of a royal blue field. Below the crest appeared a golden scroll bearing the name "CANADA". The royal crest is a crown surmounted by a crowned lion. With only a difference in the name, the governors general of all Commonwealth nations used the same flag.

At first, Canada chose of its own volition not to assume all of the powers it might have done under the Statute of Westminster. Canada purposely chose to exclude the power to amend its own constitution from the Statute because, at the time, internal agreement could not be reached on an amending formula. That power was thus retained by Westminster for more than half a century until the federal-provincial agreement that resulted in the Constitutional Act of 1982. The office of the governor general did not have to wait that long to become truly Canadian, however. On October 1, 1947, King George VI formally delegated to the governor general almost all of the sovereign's authority in Canada. Thereafter, the sovereign would be invited to preside over special national or provincial occasions where due ceremony was desirable such as the signing of the Flag Proclamation in 1965, or the Constitutional Act in 1982. In the words of Elizabeth I, "In pompous ceremonies a secret of government doth much consist."30

With the appointment of Vincent Massey, the first Canadian-born governor general (1952-1959), the position was completely patriated. Vincent Massey made extensive use of the flag, displaying it wherever he went, even while travelling by dog sled.

There were two crowns on this flag: the crowned lion stood upon a crown. In 1931, as in 1901, this crown was the Tudor crown. In 1953 Queen Elizabeth ascended the thrown. Shortly thereafter, she asked that the crown used on all badges and heraldic devices be the Saint Edward's crown, the same one used by Queen Victoria. Appropriately, the flag of the governor general was changed.


The Flag of the Governor General since Confederation:


Just as the adoption of the crest from the royal arms had anticipated the Statute of Westminster in 1931, so too, another change in the flag in 1981 anticipated the patriation of the Constitution in 1982. Instead of bearing the crest from the royal arms upon a blue field, it now bears the crest from the Canadian arms: a crowned lion holding a red maple leaf in its right front paw and standing on a heraldic wreath of red and white.

The use of this device for a governor general goes back to when the Queen wished to honour Governor General Vincent Massey. During her 1957 visit, the Queen had offered to make him a member of the Order of the Garter, thus giving him the oldest and most prestigious of the British honours. However, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker refused to allow him to accept. 31 As Vincent Massey clearly merited a high honour, the Queen's recourse was to give him a truly unusual augmentation of his personal arms: the use of "our royal crest of Canada," on a blue field as a canton on the shield. Nearly a decade then passed before the suggestion arose that this crest from the arms of Canada would make an excellent flag for the governor general. It was made in 1968 by the Reverend Ralph Spence, an ardent flag enthusiast, to Lieutenant Commander Alan Beddoe, one of Canada's leading heraldic authorities, while they were having lunch in a Toronto restaurant. Beddoe liked the idea and took it back to Ottawa where it was received warmly by Governor General Roland Michener. Michener took it to the Queen, who had been encouraging the Canadianization of the royal symbols used in Canada. She was willing to make the change, but the government of the day feared that the public would view the change to the Canadian crest as evidence of creeping republicanism; the issue temporarily died.

In 1980, as discussions proceeded on the patriation of the Constitution, the appropriateness of the idea again became apparent. In 1981, the crest of the Canadian arms upon a blue field became the sixth version assumed by the flag of the governor general of Canada.

This flag marks the physical presence of the governor general and so is flown both day and night at any building in which the governor general is in residence. As with the Queen's Personal Flag for Canada, the governor general's flag distinguishes the head of state and must not be flown or used by anyone else.


The Flag of the Prime Minister

After reading a whole chapter devoted to the flags that have been used by Canada's Head of State, it has doubtless occurred to some to wonder about the flag used by Canada's Head of Government, that is, the prime minister. A phone call to his office will provide the information that the prime minister does not have a flag. This is partly true; while he does not have a flag that uniquely distinguishes the office he holds, he does have a flag. On occasions when a distinguishing flag is required, such as when the prime minister is travelling by car, boat, or aircraft, he uses a miniature National Flag.32

Before the adoption of the Maple Leaf Flag in 1965, the prime minister would use either the Union Flag, a variation on it, or the Canadian Red Ensign. In the spring of 1945, when Prime Minister Mackenzie King visited San Francisco for the drawing up of the United Nations' Charter, he used a Union Flag with a green maple leaf in the centre (all made of silk) as a distinguishing flag.33 Shortly thereafter, a small version of the Canadian Red Ensign was adopted as the distinguishing flag of the prime minister.


This is the chapter on the Head of State from the book,
The Flags of Canada, by Alistair B. Fraser.
This work is copyrighted. All rights reserved.



1. Vincent Massey, On Being Canadian (Toronto: Dent, 1948), p. 184.

2. Although Champlain performed the function of a governor, he never did receive the commission as a governor.

3. John Ross Matheson, Canada's Flag: A Search for a Country (Boston: G.K. Hall, 1980), p. 184.

4. Whitney Smith, Flags through the ages and across the world (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975), p. 185.

5. Jacques Cartier, A SHORTE AND briefe narration of the two Nauigations and Discoueries to the Northwest partes called NEWE FRAVNCE, (London: Bynneman, 1580), p. 80. Facsimile reprint from Readex Microprint, (1966), p. 21.

6. See for example: Auguste Vachon, "L'héraldique de Jacques Cartier" Heraldry in Canada / L'Héraldique au Canada, XVIII, 3 (September 1984), pp. 4-10; Antoine Champagne, Nouvelles études sur les La-Vérendrye et le poste de l'Ouest, (Québec: Les presses de l'université Laval, 1971), pp. 151-52; Vachon, "Flags of Canada: an historical overview" The Flag Bulletin, 126 (1988), XXVII:3, pp. 88-101; La Renaissance et le Nouveau Monde (Québec: Musée du Québec, 1984), pp. 28, 33, 89, 98.

7. Gustave Desjardins, Recherches sur les drapeaux français (Paris: Vve A. Morel et Cie, 1874), p. 50-51.

8. Réne Chartrand, "The flags of New France" Flag Bulletin (1976), XVI:1, p. 13-21. Also Chartrand, "Les drapeaux en Nouvelle-France" Conservation Canada, 1,1 (1974), pp. 24-26. A rectangular and a swallow-tailed version of this flag can be seen on Champlain's ship on his "Carte Georgraphique de Nouvelle Franse", 1612; see for example Joe C.W. Armstrong, From Sea Unto Sea (Scarborough: Fleet, 1982), Map 7.

9. Reuben Gold Thwaites, The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, 1610-1791, Vol. 43 (Cleveland: Burrows Brothers, ????), p. 138.

10. Chartrand, "The flags of New France" Flag Bulletin (1976), XVI:1, pp. 13-21.

11. C.H.J. Snider, The Glorious "Shannon's" Old Blue Duster and other Faded Flags of Fadeless Fame (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1923), p. 44.

12. Regulations and Orders for the Militia, Canada, 1883 (Ottawa: Brown Chamberlin, 1883), paragraph 609. Or see the Canada Gazette (Ottawa: December 22, 1883).

13. The Union Flag usually appeared on the jackstaff of a warship, but might also appear on the mainmast as the distinguishing flag of the admiral of the fleet, or on the gaff to indicate a court-martial was in progress.

14. Joseph Pope, The Flag of Canada (1907).

15. Pope, The Flag of Canada (1907).

16. Lawrence J Burpee and Arthur G. Doughty, The Makers of Canada (Toronto: Morang, 1912), Vol. XV, p. 260.

17. F. Edward Hulme, Flags of the World (London: Frederick Warne, c. 1893), p. 82.

18. Conrad Swan, Canada: Symbols of Sovereignty (Toronto: University of Toronto, 1977), p. 70.

19. Hulme, Flags of the World, p. 81.

20. Donald Wainwright, 1986 Official Canadian Coin Guide (Toronto: Unitide, 1985).

21. That the coins were actually the source of the pattern is speculative, but the similarity in design is too great to be ignored.

22. The only known copy of Canada's inaugural flag to survive is in a private collection south of the boarder.

23. Barlow Cumberland, The story of the Union Jack (Toronto: William Briggs, 1897), p. 210.

24. Canadian Illustrated News. (Montréal, 1871 May 6), p. 281.

25. Canadian Illustrated News. (Montréal, 1878).

26. Regulations and Orders for the Militia, Canada, 1883 (Ottawa: Brown Chamberlin, 1883), paragraph 609. Or see the Canada Gazette (Ottawa: December 22, 1883).

27. Colin Campbell, "The Flag of our Country" Canadian Almanac (Toronto: Copp, Clark, 1894), p. 196.

28. Massey, On Being Canadian, p. 189.

29. Swan, Canada: Symbols of sovereignty, p. 77.

30. Massey, On Being Canadian, p. 183.

31. Diefenbaker's action was not as outrageous as it might seem. The elimination of the practice of offering British honours and titles to Canadians had been an important step in cutting the apron strings with the old country, and so in establishing a separate Canadian identity. Titles for Canadians had been viewed with growing public disfavour since early in the twentieth century and had been brought to an end by a resolution of the House of Commons in 1919 (although titles were temporarily revived between 1934 and 1935). It was not until July 1, 1967 that Canada finally established its own system of honours, the Order of Canada.

32. Flags, Ensigns, Colours, Pennants and Honours, for the Canadian Forces (Ottawa: DND, 1988), A-AD-200-000/AG-000, p. 2-1-2.

33. The Department of National Defence had sent a cotton flag (six by twelve inches) for him to use, but it was not used as the Prime Minister's party was already in possession of a silk flag. See a letter and telegram dated February 19 and 20, 1946, respectively in the National Archives Canada, RG 24, Volume 5912, File HQ50-1-42.


This is the chapter on the Head of State from the book,
The Flags of Canada, by Alistair B. Fraser.
This work is copyrighted. All rights reserved.