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Political parties of Quebec

Last modified: 2004-10-30 by phil nelson
Keywords: quebec | canada | political parties: quebec |
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See also

Ralliement National pour l'Indépendance du Québec (RIN)

Flag of 1965 :

[RIN (1965)]
by Luc-Vartan Baronian

Description: Three vertical bands of 1:1:4, black-white-red.

Use of the flag: This flag was used in 1965. When the RIN ceased to exist in early '70s, its members were encouraged by the ex-leaders to join the Parti Quebecois whose popularity was growing. The PQ holds the power in Quebec since 1994.
Luc-Vartan Baronian - 14 March 1997

Alternative versions used in the 1970's :

[RIN (1970)]
by Jaume Ollé - 1997

[RIN (1970)]
by Jaume Ollé - 1997

The design is a stylized ram's head.
Luc-Vartan Baronian - 19 March 1997

Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ)

by Luc-Vartan Baronian

Description: Vertically equally divided in blue and white, with a red star outlined in yellow in the fly .

It seems to reproduce the colours of Quebec, without any religious or ancient French reference. The star clearly represent socialism.

Use of the flag: The FLQ was an unorganized socialist movement of workers.

They posed many bombs in the West Island (of Montreal) in the '60s. They are remembered for the kidnapping of a British diplomat, James Richard Cross, and a Quebec minister, Pierre Laporte, and the murder of the later in October 1970.

This is remembered as the October Crisis, where the federal army invaded Montreal, suspended civil rights in Quebec and arrested hundreds of people without justification.
Luc-Vartan Baronian - 14 March 1997

Did the FLQ actually use this flag themselves, or was it used by FLQ supporters and sympathizers? The FLQ was a tiny underground group (or rather two or three groups that succeeded each other but adopted the same name). If such a group used a flag it would be an invitation to the police to come and get them. This goes for all groups that engage in political violence of the kind FLQ did. Being in the underground and hoisting a flag is somewhat contradictory.
Jan Oskar Engene - 20 March 1997

Excellent question. I can't say what I remember, because I wasn't born back then. The flag comes from the article by Francois Beaudoin : Flags of Quebec in The Flag Bulletin. He doesn't give more details than what I've said.

The FLQ was made of different little groups here and there that didn't really have contact with one another. Some were very well organized like the one in Algeria that I mentioned earlier, others weren't.

Funny thing, the two groups who did the kidnappings and the murder were very unorganized and very small (4 people in each case).

The fact that the Algeria group and many others used a Patriote flag,  suggests that it wasn't a well-known flag, even for FLQ members... My guess is that the Flag illustrated by Beaudoin was the flag of just one of the many isolated groups. In the late 50s and early 60s, before they posed bombs, they were just a little socialist group like there was many at the time. I have even read somewhere that some of them frequented the same milieu as the future Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau who hunted them down after the assassination of the Minister Pierre Laporte in 1970.

I hope this clears things up a little bit, I know it's not crystal clear for me yet.
Luc-Vartan Baronian - 20 March 1997

I wrote about the FLQ flag in the FLAG BULLETIN in a special issue ("The Red and The Black") back in the '70s (Vol XIII, No. 3/49, May-June 1974). It was seen at demonstrations both in the US and in Montreal prior to the bombing and kidnapping episodes mentioned (c. 1968-71). Of course, no one saw it after that. Probably the FLQ itself seldom used any flag but its supporters did. I first saw reference to it IIRC in one of the "underground" papers of the late 60s.
Dave Martucci - 21 March 1997

Chevaliers de l'Indépendance (CDI)

by Luc-Vartan Baronian

Description: Black, with a red centered fleur de lys. They wore black sweaters with this emblem.

Use of the flag: I don't know much of this organization, except that it was active in the '60s.
Luc-Vartan Baronian - 14 March 1997

Mouvement Souveraineté Association (MSA)

Formed in 1968, merged in 1969 with the RIN to form the Parti Quebecois, which continued to use the flag of the MSA :

Parti Quebecois (PQ)

Jaume Ollé reported that the Patriot flag was used by the PQ :

[Parti Patriote]
by Luc-Vartan Baronian

but :

I've never seen the horizontal tricolor green-white-red flag with the yellow star used by the Parti Québécois and I don't think the flag illustrated is actually the one of the Parti Québécois. People in that party actually always use Quebec's flag. However, the Patriotes' flag (horizontal tricolor green-white-red) is often used.
Michel Simard - 30 September 1998

Mouvement National de Libération du Québec (MNLQ)

[Mouvement de Liberation Nationale du Quebec]
by Luc-Vartan Baronian

A new party, the MNLQ (Mouvement National de Liberation du Quebec) founded by the ex-leader of the Algeria faction of the FLQ uses the starred version of the Flag of the Parti Patriote. (It is considered an extremist party).

NB : If you're ever in Montreal, visit the Musée du Chateau Ramezay ; you will see the Patriote flag of the St-Eustache battle (it has a fish, maple leaves, etc..).
Luc-Vartan Baronian - 14 March 1997

Most of my info is from Beaudoin, Flags of Quebec, an article that was in The Flag Bulletin. (Maybe someone can tell me which number, I don't know).
Luc-Vartan Baronian - 14 March 1997

The MLNQ (Mouvement de Liberation Nationale du Quebec), a small radical independentist party of 200 members. I have never seen this flag fly, but they distribute badges with this design : the Patriote flag of the 1830s added with a gold star in the canton and the design "un vieux de '37" by Henri Julien.

Similar flags can be often seen in nationalist manifestations, but there users are not necessarily MLNQ members, the starred green, white and red has been used frequently since the 1960s as I have mentioned a few times.
Luc-Vartan Baronian - 25 November 1997

This is the green-white-red [er... I'd say orange from their image...] flag of patriots who rose up right here in 1837 and again in 1838 to found a democratic and free republic. Louis-Joseph Papineau was leading the parliamentary struggle and when this road was blocked, patriots rose up. They made a mistake in braving the British army openly, as though it were a classic army, and were subsequently crushed, but their ideal of freedom nevertheless lived on into our time and still inspires true independentists.

In the 1970s, this flag was taken up by part of the "souverainiste" (sovereignist?) movement in memory of our ancestors who were killed in action for the defence of our existence. Now it is our turn to act so that they did not perish in vain...
translated from the MLNQ website by Thanh-Tâm Lê

At: I found this info:


The flag of the Patriots of 1837-38 has again become since a couple of years the battle standard of certain indépendantistes. The MNLQ has adopted it as its war banner; we modernized it, thereby respecting its historical character; we have added:

1 - A star, signifying the light which guides thee people of Quebec towards its destiny as a Nation.

2 - The Patriot has been added in remembrance of our heroes of 1837-38 for they gave their blood for freedom. The symbolism of the Patriot represents the people of Quebec, marching in unison towards its freedom. The tricolor green-white-red is the flag of liberation and national independence. It's the flag hoisted by Robert Nelson and his Brother Hunters (the army of the patriots) when they proclaimed the Republic on 28 February 1838 in Noyant. 160 years after the dissolution of the revolutionary patriots movement the same tricolor has been readopted by the national liberation movement.

The dimensions are 34 inches high by 52 inches wide
Jarig Bakker - 02 May 1999


Nous lui avons ajouté :

  1. Une étoile symbolisant la lumicre qui guide le peuple québécois vers sa destinée en tant que Nation.
  2. Le Patriote, en souvenir de nos héros de 1837-1838 car ils ont, pour certains d'entre eux, gravé leurs noms avec leur sang en lettres d'or sur l'autel de la Liberté. Le Patriote représente le peuple en marche, uni dans la lutte pour sa liberté."

My translation:

We have added:

  1. A star symbolising the light which guides the Quebecois people towards their destiny as a Nation.
  2. The Patriot, to commemorate our heroes of 1837-1838 because some of them inscribed their names with their blood in golden letters on the altar of Liberty. The Patriot represents the people marching forward, united in the struggle for their freedom."
André Coutanche, 30 June 2004