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Antigonish, Nova Scotia (Canada)

Municipality of the County of Antigonish

Last modified: 2015-11-23 by rob raeside
Keywords: antigonish | nova scotia |
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Antigonish image by Jens Pattke, 4 November 2010

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Description of the flag

Antigonish town is the county seat of Antigonish County, Nova Scotia. Special thanks to Dianne Wilson for town crest and additional info.

Flag Inquiry Response: I have attached a digital version of the crest which is on our flag (white background). In 1989, the Town celebrated it's 100th year of incorporation. As part of the celebration, the Town commissioned a new crest, which is featured on our flag. Also commissioned that year was a book of the History of Antigonish, written by Patrick F. Walsh. In the opening page, the meaning of the name of our Town (Antigonish) and the new crest is described as follows:

Antigonish: pronounced Anty-Go-Nish, accent on the last syllable.
Authorities cannot agree on the meaning of the name of Antigonish. Most agree it is from the Mi'kmaq Indian language, probably spelled by early language students: NALIGITGONIETJ. Debate seems to boil the translation down to 'river of many forks,' rivers of fish,' or 'where branches are torn off' (the trees by bears looking for beech nuts). The meaning favored by Fr. A.A. Johnston, noted historian, is the latter. All of the above allusions are reflected in the new armorial bearings of the town, adopted by Town Council in honor of the centennial of incorporation.

Armorial Bearings: Town of Antigonish
The bear, the broken beech tree: from the Mi'kmaq 'where branches are torn off' (beech trees by bears).
The rivers: from the Mi'kmaq 'river of many forks, rivers of fish."
The cross of St. Andrew, the colour blue: represent Scotland, Nova Scotia and St. Francis Xavier University.
The open book: the university.
The ancient arrow tip and ermine fur: from the arms of Sir Guy Carleton, first Baron Dorchester (Dorchester was the original name of Antigonish).
The coronet: reserved for County Councils (Antigonish is the county seat).
The green palings: the forests.
The wheat sheaves: represent agriculture (from the original town seal of 1889).
The motto: above the shield as in Scottish custom.

The Armorial Bearings and new Town Seal were designed for the centennial of incorporation by Robert Pichette, OStJ, GMC, KCLJ, FRSA, and the artist who rendered the final forms was Karen Bailly of Ottawa.

Dianne Wilson, Deputy Clerk, Town of Antigonish,_Nova_Scotia 

John S. Johnson, 4 November 2010