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Canada (1865-1867)

Last modified: 2005-05-13 by phil nelson
Keywords: canada | red ensign: canada | history: red ensign: canada |
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In 1865, all the British colonies get particular flags, for Canada, this means separate flags for :


The Red Ensign

Chronology of the Canadian Blue and Red Ensigns

Some information from "The Flags of Canada - chapter IV - the Canadian Ensigns" by Alistair B. Fraser.

10 May 1865

An admiralty letter to the Colonial Office required colonial warships to 'wear a Union Jack in the usual place, and the White Ensign, with either the Arms of the Colony, or such other distinguishing mark as may be chosen by the Colony, and approved by the Colonial Office and the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty'.
D. Prothero, 22 December 1997

This regulation was mainly directed at Australia and not applicable to Canada, which had no Navy at that time.
(Information from Fraser)
Herman De Wael, 21 October 1998

16 December 1865

A distinctive Blue Ensign for the province of Canada is authorized by the U.K. secretary of state for the colonies. I have no idea what its badge looked like. Presumably this Blue Ensign was worn by government-owned vessels.

Is this date correct, or is it a combination of two different dates? The Colonial Office Circular on this matter was dated 22 December 1865, and the corresponding Admiralty Circular was dated 16 January 1866.

Also, I don't think that there was a badge at this time. This was just the authorisation for such a badge. It still had to be designed, and then approved.
David Prothero, 26 July 1998

22 December 1865

Colonial Office Circular notifying revised Admiralty requirements for flags for colonial warships and for other colonial government vessels and requesting correct drawings of seals or badges to be adopted as distinguishing marks.
D. Prothero, 22 December 1997

16 January 1866

Admiralty Circular No. 4,S - any vessel provided and used under section 3 of the Colonial Defence Act 1865 to wear 'the Blue Ensign, with the Seal or Badge of the Colony in the Fly thereof, and a Blue Pendant' - other vessels 'belonging to, or permanently in the service of the Colonies, but not commissioned as Vessels of War...shall wear a similar Blue Ensign, but not the Pendant' - no specific mention of colonial Jacks.
D. Prothero, 22 December 1997

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