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Historical Flags of New Brunswick (Canada)

Last modified: 2015-06-30 by rob raeside
Keywords: new brunswick | canada | ship | lion |
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Lt. Governor Flag, 1870-1981
[1875-1905 Lt. Governor flag] image by Martin Grieve

Badge Detail
[detail of flag's badge] image by Martin Grieve

New Brunswick was one of the four founding provinces and the arms granted to it on 26 May 1868 were approved for use on the Union Jack of the Lieutenant-Governor afloat in 1870. According to Alistair Fraser in Flags of Canada the flag was probably not used on land until the early 1960's, except for a miniature version, used as a car-flag from early in the century. It was replaced by the present Lieutenant-Governor's flag 22 September 1981.

Development of the arms.

1868. Shield only, in which an 'ancient galley' sailed from dexter to sinister on a natural sea. Later it became customary to add the motto 'spem reduxit' below the shield.

The lion which replaced a Hanoverian horse in the original proposal, is said by Conrad Swan in 'Canada : Symbols of Sovereignty' to be based on the arms of the Duchy of Brunswick, 'gules two lions passant guardant in pale or' which at the time of the foundation of the province was an hereditament of the British Crown. An 18th century ship appeared on the 1784 seal of New Brunswick, possibly in reference to vessels that brought Loyalists to the province from the former American colonies. This was changed to a conventionalized version on the arms, perhaps as an allusion to the province's ship-building industry.

1965. Provincial Flag introduced by Proclamation of Lieutenant-Governor on 24 February. It is a banner of the arms, but the galley now sails from fly to hoist on an heraldic sea, of blue and white wavy bars. This variation appears to have been transferred back to the arms.

In 1984, crest, supporters, etc., were granted, and motto confirmed, by Royal Warrant of Queen Elizabeth II, to honour the 200th anniversary of the creation of New Brunswick.
David Prothero, 15 December 2002