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Historical flags of Manitoba


Last modified: 2003-04-26 by
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On 15 July 1870 Manitoba became the first new province to join the Canadian confederation, but no badge was approved for ten years. One difficulty was indecision over whether the badge which had been produced for the Dominion in 1868 by quartering the arms of the four founding provinces, should be altered to accommodate the arms of each additional province that joined the confederation.

Badge, 1870-1905
[Badge of Manitoba]
by Martin Grieve

Lt. Governor's Flag, 1870-1905
[Lt. Governor, 1870-1905]
by Martin Grieve

The seal of Manitoba was a shield that followed the pattern of the arms of the founding provinces, by having an emblem of the Mother Country of the principal colonists in chief, and a symbol of the province below. It was very similar to the arms that were later granted in 1905, except that the St George's cross had a royal crown at its centre, and the buffalo, which was not standing on a rock, had its head lowered and turned to face the viewer.

While the argument about the Canadian badge continued, the government of Manitoba ignored the design on the seal and produced a badge in the form of arms complete with supporters and motto. Correspondence in the Public Record Office [ADM 116/185] refers to a drawing of the arms, which had been sent to the Colonial Office by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, but the enclosures are missing. On 16 October 1878 the Government of Canada decided that, "it was not advisable to take any steps at present towards amending the badge of the Dominion," but that both Dominion and Provincial Governments approved the modifications to Manitoba badge suggested 27 June 1878. This was that the supporters and motto should be omitted.

On 16 May 1879 the Privy Council of Canada wrote that it was not necessary to submit the drawing of the flag for Manitoba to the College of Arms, and on 22 March 1880 the Manitoba badge was approved by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

Lt. Governor's Flag, 1905-84
[Lt. Governor, 1870-1905]
by Martin Grieve

The 1880 badge was replaced by the arms, shield only, granted by royal warrant 10 May 1905. The Union Jack defaced with this badge was used as a car flag after 1956, and on Government House after 1965, until replaced by the present flag 11 May 1984. The addition of supporters, crest, motto etc., were granted by warrant of the Governor-General 23 October 1992.
David Prothero, 12 November 2002