Monday, April 25, 2011

New Flags for Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nunavut

In this first international edition of Fix the Flags, we'll be looking at a few Canadian provinces that could use a bit of work.  Each of these is just a little tweak, I'll get to the ones that really need fixing in later posts.

First off, we have Saskatchewan:

One the surface, not a bad flag, especially compared to the flags of many other provinces.  The green and yellow combination make for a unique color-scheme that really stands out.  The two issues I have with it are the intricacies of the flower and that mess in the upper-left corner.  While the lion looks really cool, it also looks like a pain to draw and the wheat is, well, just wheat.  I get that Saskatchewan is one of the prairie provinces and is a major grain growing area, but wheat just doesn't seem very inspired, so it's gone.  What I had left, after a little rearranging, was this:

I know I said the flower was too busy, but it also looks good.  The red contrasts nicely with the green and the stem extending into the yellow both ties the two color bands together (preventing it from looking like Ukraine) and can be symbolic of the prairie, which is incredibly flat.  I also changed the ratio, bringing it to the common 2:3.

Next comes Ontario:

After working with state flags of the USA, the red field of this flag is a refreshing change of pace.  However, the Union Jack/red field/shield design is also used by Manitoba, making these two nearly indistinguishable from a distance (both are versions of the Canadian Red Ensign, the flag used by the Canadian government from 1957 to 1965). 

The shield of this flag, unlike the many seals in the US is comparatively simple, just three maple leaves representing Canada and the cross of St. George to denote allegiance to King George III, the monarch when the Loyalists who fled the 13 Colonies formed what would become Ontario.

As an American, I'm not a huge fan of ol' Georgie 3, but that's not the reason I'm removing the cross from the shield.  I'm also taking the Union Jack, because even though both speak to an identity within the British Empire and their colonial heritage, they are symbols that can be easily applied to many other places around the world (like Bermuda, the Falklands, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, etc.).  I feel like Ontario should use items a little closer to home.  The resulting flag maintains the red field, but shifts the shield and symbols around:

As I said, the cross of St. George is gone, as is the Union Jack.  The shield was enlarged and moved to the center of the flag, and I tweaked the ratio.  The only addition I made was the inclusion of two stylized trillium, the state flower of Ontario.  They seemed to be a better symbol of the province than the attachments to faded imperial glory.

Last, we come to Nunavut, the northern Canadian territory that covers 7 billion square miles and is home to 18 people (these are just rough estimates):

Admittedly, their flag is really nice, combining the heritage of the Inuit and a nod to geography into a simple and highlyy recognizable design.  It really should be in a "fine as is" post, but I have one small suggestion.  I would switch the colors of the star and left field, so it would look like this:

On further reflection, it may have looked better as it was, but oh well.


  1. Saskatchewan: Bite the bullet: get rid of the flower. Keep the aspect ratio. The aspect ratio should be long, like a map of the province (in a rectangular projection)

    Ontario: I like the red field too. Maybe they should just have a colour-reversed Canadian maple leaf? They are Upper Canada after all, and the place where the maples actually grow.

  2. If you're interested in changing the Flag of Ontario, I suggest you check out this petition.

    The current flag of Ontario was proposed by premier John Robarts and was adopted by the legislature as 'retaliation' for the new Canadian flag designed by George F. G. Stanley and John Matheson.

    The current flag of Ontario does not reflect the province's cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity.

    Ref: Wikipedia - Flag Act of Ontario (May 21, 1965): Before 1965, the Canadian Red Ensign had served as the national flag of Canada. It was flown at all military installations in Canada and overseas, outside the legislature and government buildings, at Royal Canadian Legion halls, and many private homes. In 1964, the federal government, after a long and acrimonious debate, replaced the Red Ensign with the current flag of Canada. This decision was unpopular among millions of Canadians. These included many Ontarians, particularly in rural areas that made up much of the political base of Premier John Robarts' Ontario Progressive Conservatives.

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