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House flags of Canadian Shipping Companies (page 1) (Canada)

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by phil nelson
Keywords: canada | canada: shipping companies | canada: maritime house flags | maritime house flags: canada |
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Abitibi Paper Co., Ltd., & Price Paper Co.

[Abitibi Paper Co., Ltd., & Price Paper Co.] image by Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2005
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of Shipping Companies of the World [lgr95]

Toronto/Grand Falls - green flag with two white stripes; between those stripes white "ABITBI-PRICE".
Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2005

Presently known as Abitibi-Consolidated following the merger of merger of Abitibi-Price and Stone-Consolidated on May 29th, 1997.

From the company website:

Abitibi-Consolidated is a global leader in newsprint and uncoated groundwood (value-added groundwood) papers as well as a major producer of wood products, generating sales of $5.8 billion in 2004. The Company owns or is a partner in 26 paper mills, 22 sawmills, 5 remanufacturing facilities and 1 engineered wood facility in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., South Korea, China and Thailand.

It's fleet was/is used for shipping newsprint from its facilities.
Phil Nelson, 13 December 2005

Algoma Central Marine

[Algoma Central Marine] image by Joseph McMillan

From the company website

Algoma Central was incorporated as Algoma Central Railway Company in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on August 11, 1899. The Corporation proudly celebrated its Centennial Anniversary throughout the year in 1999.

The Company was founded following the discovery of valuable iron ore in the Michipicoten area of Ontario's Algoma Region in the late 1800's. Francis H. Clergue, the Philadelphia promoter and industrialist, needed to move the ore from the Helen Mine to the harbour on Lake Superior. For this purpose, the Algoma Central Railway was incorporated by Special Act of the Parliament of Canada with capital of three million dollars.

Soon after the railway was in operation from the mine to Michipicoten, four steam vessels were purchased in 1900. This was the beginning of the Algoma Central Fleet.

The Company name was changed to The Algoma Central and Hudson Bay Railway Company in 1901. From this point on, Algoma Central carried on business as both a railway and a steamship company.

With the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, expansion of the fleet was a high priority. Next came a name to change Algoma Central Railway in 1965, followed by the demand for self-unloaders and further expansion of the bulker fleet.

In 1973, Algoma Central Properties was established with major real estate holdings in the Sault. By 1984, Company revenue surpassed $100 million, and by 1987, Marine Division revenues alone exceeded $100 million. In 1990, the Company name was changed to Algoma Central Corporation.

Year 1992 saw the beginning of Algoma Central's Fleet Renewal Program which would ensure Algoma's competitiveness in the future.

With increased emphasis on marine, both the railway and the Algoma Region forest lands held by the Company were sold as the Company divested non-strategic assets.

As expansion of the fleet continued, Algoma Central acquired an interest in Marbulk Canada Inc. to provide a presence in ocean shipping. Algoma Tankers Limited was created with the purchase of liquid-petroleum tankers.

Algoma Central Properties Inc., now committed to the Niagara Region of Ontario, manages six valuable real estate properties in St. Catharines, in addition to its Sault holdings.

In January 2000, the Seaway Marine Transport marketing pool was formed resulting in new synergy and benefits to customers.

Today, Algoma Central Corporation proudly flies its house flag on 29 vessels sailing the Great Lakes.

Phil Nelson, 27 August 2000

According to Lloyds the shipping division was made a subsidiary in 1990 as Algoma Central Marine. Post World War 2 Lloyds shows the shipping at times under Algoma Steamships Ltd. and at others under the principal. This would appear to part of a reorganization that saw the principal become Algoma Central Corporation. The company site shows a logo which bears the name "Algoma Central Corporation' and possibly the company had a flag using this but as the 1982 edition of "Know your Ships" shows the funnel bearing the badge with 'Marine' on it as shown on this flag, it seems possible that the maritime division was using the flag prior to 1990.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 November 2003

Centennial flag
[Algoma Central Marine] contributed by Jan Mertens, 26 September 2005
Source: Boatnerd

Boatnerd shows the Centennial version of the Algoma house flag – see second picture of second row.

Not only has the bear emblem received a golden laurel wreath but that a thin gold stripe has been added to the red bordure, on its outside at least, as well. No gold stripe at the hoist though.

“Laurel wreath” is too vague a term in fact. It is a gold ring bearing the words ‘CENTENNIAL’ at the top and the years ‘1899-1999’ at the bottom, all characters in white, and laurel leaves in white added between them. For good measure, the ring itself is surrounded – inside and out - by a gold rope.

In the railway company logo, also named Algoma (in short) the bear looks the other way. I believe that in this case the bear was rendered in black and white as well but the letters were yellow and the ring, red. (Was it ever used on a flag?)

Quote from the company’s website:

The Corporation's fleet of 25 vessels includes 14 self-unloaders, six bulk carriers and five Canadian-flag petroleum-product tankers. Algoma Central Corporation and Upper Lakes Group Inc. work in a partnership, Seaway Marine Transport, which manages the commercial activities of the partners' self-unloading and conventional bulker fleets. Algoma Tankers manages the commercial operations of the Algoma Tankers fleet. The Corporation has a 50% interest in Marbulk Canada Inc. which, through a subsidiary based in Beverley, Massachusetts operates an ocean-going fleet of seven self-unloaders. The Corporation also owns a 25% interest in Cleveland Tankers (1991) Inc. based in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland Tankers owns one US-flag tanker which is on long-term charter to Algoma Tankers (USA) Inc.

Jan Mertens, 26 September 2005

Arctic Transportation Ltd.

[Arctic Transportation Ltd.] image by Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2005
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of Shipping Companies of the World [lgr95]

Calgary - bright blue flag, blue "ATL".
Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2005

BC Ferries

Flag since April 2003
[BC Ferries prior to April 2003]
image by David E. Nelson, 12 March 2006
Source: BC Ferries website

Founded in 1960 under a different name as a crown corporation, British Columbia Ferry Services Inc (BC Ferries), currently has thirty-five vessels serving forty-seven ports of call along the coast of the Province of British Columbia, Canada.

Its first house flag, in use from 09 June 1960, had a green background, which appears to be in the proportion of 1:2, with a rendition of the dogwood flower, (Cornus nuttallii) - the Province's official flower - centred on it. An image of this flag, together with details of the company's history, may be seen on the BC Ferries web site and the image also appears on menu items, carpets and other promotional material elsewhere on the web site. This web site also features a large section of historical photographs of ship launches and so on, on some of which it can clearly be seen that their vessels are flying flags other than the dogwood house flag. However, the details are too small to be able to precisely identify them.

When the new BC Ferries company was created on 02 April 2003, the new house flag was created and the company web sites states that the old flag was "retired" to the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, located on Bastion Square in Victoria.

In April 2003, the new house flag was instituted. Its dimensions are 914 mm x 1829 mm (3' x 6') and it is constructed according to Federal Standard CAN/CGSB-98.1-92, for the Canadian flag, which are still extant and costing over CAD 65 to download. [See "The Maple Leaf Flag"] This covers such matters as specifications for the material, thread, stitching, rope and toggle assembly, and construction. The flag has what is known as the "wave" element of the company's logo in white on a blue background, quoted in the company's specification as Pantone 541.

(1) British Columbia Ferry Services Inc web site, <> (12 March 2006)
(2) British Columbia Ferry Services Inc web site, <> (12 March 2006)
(3) BC Ferries, Identity Specifications, Signage, Company Flag, dated 23 July 2003, downloaded from <> (12 March 2006)
(4) Standards Council of Canada web site, <> (12 March 2006)
(5) Maritime Museum of British Columbia web site, <> (12 March 2006)
(6) Government of British Columbia, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat, Protocol & Events Branch web site, <> (12 March 2006)
Colin Dobson, 12 March 2006

See also:

Flag: 1960 to April 2003

[British Columbia Ferry Corp.] image by Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2005

Flag to April 2003. The core of the flag flower should be yellow, not green. According to company site it is the 'Dogwood flag' and was used for 25 years.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 November 2003

[British Columbia Ferry Corp.] image by Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2005
Source: photo from Dean McGee

Victoria, BC. - green flag, white flower with yellow heart.
Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2005

Black Diamond S.S. Co. Ltd.

[Black Diamond Steam Ship Co.] image by Jarig Bakker
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26]

Montreal - yellow flag, in center black diamond; in all corners black "BDSC".
Jarig Bakker, 14 February 2005

British Yukon Navigation Company

[British Yukon Navigaton Company] image by Ivan Sache, 26 April 2008
Source: Sternwheelers of the Yukon

Quoting Sternwheelers of the Yukon, from the website of the Yukon archives:

In July of 1900 the White Pass & Yukon Route (WP&YR) railway was completed from Skagway, on the Alaskan coast, to Whitehorse, making it practical to transport freight and passengers on boats via the upper river, from Whitehorse to Dawson City.


WP&YR set up a river division, the British Yukon Navigation Company, (BYN Co.) in 1900; within three years BYN Co. owned all but three boats on the upper river.

Sternwheelers became a vital part of Yukon transportation. Yukon River sternwheelers were designed to carry heavy cargoes downstream on a light draft and make the return trip upstream with lighter loads.


Long summer days and spectacular scenery made the Yukon a popular tourist destination, and tourism became an important part of BYN Co.’s business. The S.S. Tutshi, launched as a tourist boat in 1917, took passengers on excursions on the Southern Lakes.


The second page of Sternwheelers of the Yukon shows the house flag of the British Yukon Navigation Company as white with a red saltire cantonned with the blue letters "B" (top), "Y" (left), "N" (right) and "Co." (bottom).
Ivan Sache, 26 April 2008

Canadian Government Merchant Marine

[Canadian Government Merchant Marine] image by Jarig Bakker
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26]

Montreal - blue burgee, red cross fimbriated white; in center yellow maple-leaf.
Jarig Bakker, 14 February 2005

Canadian National Steamships

[Canadian National Steamships] image by Ivan Sache

Canadian National Steamships - Montreal

Burgee-shaped flag with Norwegian colours and design. In the middle of the cross is placed a yellow disc fimbriated in red and yellow.
Shipping lines: Montreal - Quebec - Halifax - British Guinea, Montreal - Vancouver - South America - Austral.(ia?)

Steam cargos: 39; Cargo and passsenger steamboats: 8
Tonnage: ca 248,180 Regt. brutto

Source: Znamierowski shows p. 244 a plate of houseflags of North and South American shipping companies, dated 1933. The original source is Lloyd Reederei-Flaggen der Welt-Handelsflotte [Lloyd Houseflags of the World Merchant Fleet], Bremen (Germany). The caption of the original plate says 'Lloyd Zigaretten + Bildersammlung: Reedereiflaggen', so the 'book' is an album for cigarette cards.
Ivan Sache, 24 March 2001

The design on the flag is not clear on many sources but it seems that it is a maple leaf. Brown 1929 and 1934 both show a large gold leaf throughout the cross fess point whereas later sources show a white circle containing the leaf apparently in yellow and green. Znamierowski has taken his image from the Lloyd Reedereiflaggen cigarette card album of 1933 which is the only one to take the easy way out which is rather understandable considering the small size of the emblem.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 November 2003

[Canadian National Steamships] image by Jarig Bakker

From The National Maritime Museum:

The house flag of Canadian National Steamships, St Johns, Newfoundland. A dark blue pennant with a white-bordered red cross. A green yellow and red maple leaf is placed on a white disc in the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached.

Jarig Bakker, 8 August 2004
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