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Ottawa, Ontario

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A new flag

[Ottowa flag]

The logo

The new logo consists of the Ottawa "wordmark" that features a stylized "O". The logo will be the symbol most frequently used to identify the new City on everything from stationery and business cards, to vehicles and signage. The logo reflects Ottawa's status as the nation's capital with its three streamers forming an abstract, subtle suggestion of a maple leaf or a hint of the local architecture. The flow of the streamers suggests unity, harmony, connectivity and forward movement. The two-colour version in blue and green, speaks to the city's quality of life and environment. The four-colour version reflects the festive nature and optimism of the new City, and features the colours citizens most often identified during the public participation process, namely blue, green, red and yellow. [By the way, these colours refer to the four white elements on the flag - from left to right they are yellow, green, red, blue (for the O part), although the green is rather turquoise on their webpage.]

The flag

The new flag is designed to reflect the landscape of the new City with the green and blue backdrop representing the importance of our green space and waterways. The stylized "O" logo is in the centre of the flag and represents the vibrancy and forward movement of the new City.

City of Ottawa

The symbols feature a swirling "O" with a representation of a Maple Leaf and the Parliament Buildings in the "O," according to transition board staff members who helped design the symbols.

The board approved both symbols in a special meeting yesterday at regional headquarters.

The logo for the new city will appear on such items as signs and stationery. It has the swirling "O" with an italicized, serif type on the other letters.

The logo comes in versions of blue and green to reflect the colour of the city's land and rivers plus a multi-coloured style that features blue, green, yellow and red, according to staff.

The new city flag is blue and green with a white swirling "O" in the centre.

Ottawa Citizen 24 October 2000

Ottawa - Carleton Regional Municipality

Flag of Ottawa-Carleton Regional Municipality
by Chris Pinette

Last month I was in Ottawa and I saw the flag (above). Does anyone know what it is? Is it the flag of the city of Ottawa? No one in Ottawa could tell me. It was flying next to the Canadian National Flag and the Provincial flag of Ontario.
Chris Pinette - 8 August 1996

This flag looked familiar so I browsed through the few copies I have of Flagscan. I found the flag, or rather one that looks very similar. The only difference is that the white Y based on the hoist is made up of wavy (not straight) lines, and that the maple leaf is set in the centre of the flag. I guess these things are not easy to see when flags are hoisted. The flag illustrated in Flagscan is the flag of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. I suppose it is what Chris saw. The flag was adopted 26 June 1985 by the Regional Council and is a simpler version of the coat of arms. The white wavy section represents the rivers Ottawa and Rideau, while the maple leaf indicates the Canadian capital.

The City of Ottawa flies a different flag, a tricolour of (from the hoist to the fly) royal purple, red and blue. Royal purple was put in because Queen Victoria made Ottawa the capital, while red and blue were the colours of the Liberal and Conservative parties at the time the flag was adopted, in 1901. In 1987 the whole Ottawa arms was put on the middle red panel.
Source: Jaques Cyr: "Flags in the Ottawa Valley", Flagscan, Vol. 8, No. 2, 1993, pp. 11-16
Jan Oskar Engene - 10 August 1996

A similar design, with straight white lines is not a flag, it's the logo of the Ottawa-Carleton region
Luc Baronian - 19 June 1997

The "logo" may be such, but I think it flies as a flag - and in more places than the Ottawa City flag. I cannot be 100% sure if the lines were straight or wavy now, but I would be surprised if I did not notice that - it so obviously represents the river!
Rob Raeside - 19 July 1997

Of course, since the region is larger than the city... ;-)

I know what you mean, the city flag doesn't seem very popular.

You are not the first to make this remark. What I believe is that they first used the straight lines unofficially and made them wavy when it became official. (But this is just speculation). What is sure is that 2 sources (Flagscan and the very reliable Ottawa-Carleton web page) show the wavy line flag. According to Flagscan, it became official June 26, 1985. The arms of the region have this design displayed as a Y with the maple leaf in the center and a crown in the upper triangle. Over the shield a mural crown and under, the motto *Cum Progressu Euntes* (Moving with Progress).
Luc Baronian - 19 June 1997

I did also see this flag in a magnificent avenue of flags outside an office complex, along with the flags of 10 other "townships" I always see it at the train station and over a few (rare) buildings. presumably the other components of the Ottawa-Carleton region. Two of them (Rideau Township and Dulbourn) have their names on the flags, but the others were unidentifiable. Also in this avenue are the flags of the Ottawa-Carleton region, Ontario and Canada.
Rob Raeside - 19 July 1997

I came on a page about the flag of Ottawa-Carleton. I cite the text which is attached to this flag :

- The regional flag is a modified version of the armorial bearings of the regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. It was created by David Baker, technician-draughtsman with the Department of transport of the MROC. (Municipalite-Regionale 'Ottawa-Carleton in french)

- The corrugated white sign in form of Y, as on the regional armorial bearings, represents the Rideau and Ottawa rivers, topographic elements which played a great part in the colonization and the economic development of the area.

- The red maple sheet symbolizes the area of the national capital and the People of Canada

- Approval with the Regional Council - on June 26, 1985

Pascal Gross - 11 March 1998


[Ottowa flag]
by Chris Pinette

The flag of Ottawa City is a vertical blue-red-purple, with the full arms in the center. Harrington describes it in Flagscan as symbolizing the conservatives, the liberals and the royalty, but I always thought there was a link to do with the identical colours used by the Canadian and British armies... Tom perhaps ?
Luc Baronian - 19 June 1997

I did see a flag similar to the one Luc describes, but a PURPLE-red-purple tricolour with a coat of arms on it. This combination is quite eye-catching! As I only ever seemed to see that flag outside fire stations, I took it to be the flag of the fire department. There were two men that I thought were two firemen (the flags were fluttering) supporting the shield. I have since found the coat-of-arms at, and think that the two men are a lumberjack and a policeman(?). (They are a timber timmer and an officer of the Civil Service Rifle Regiment - LVB)

This is probably the flag that Luc is referring to as the city flag, although I wonder what happened to the blue.
Rob Raeside - 19 July 1997

I must admit, I've been to Ottawa many times since I'm a kid and I remember the 2 border stripes being the same colour... but I'm not 100 % sure, and they are two similar colours... I'll check this summer when I go back. Let me add that the tricolor has been used since 1901 and that the arms were added in 1987.
Luc Baronian - 19 June 1997

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