Last modified: 2005-04-02 by phil nelson
Keywords: fransaskois | canada | cross (green) | fleur de lis (red) |
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by Jan Oskar Engene
There are about 24.000 Fransaskois, or French Canadians, in Saskatchewan. The Association of French-Canadians of Saskatchewan adopted a flag for this community. The flag has a yellow with a green cross centred towards the upper hoist. A red fleur de lis is set in the lower fly.
Yellow is a popular colour in flags of this prairie province. It is a symbol of the wheat fields. The green cross represents the early missionaries and the Christianity of the Fransaskois. Green stands for the forest areas in Saskatchewan's north. The red fleur de lis is the emblem of Frenchness. It was also used on the arms of a French explorer that went to this area. Red is for the heart, a symbol of the aspirations of the French community in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan flag is also charged with the provincial floral emblem the Western Red Lily (adopted 1941). Yellow, green, and red are the colours of the provincial flag.
The Fransaskois flag was the first francophone flag in western Canada. It was chosen in the late 70s by means of a contest sponsored by l'Association jeunesse fransaskoise (AJF), which represents the francophone youth of the province.
The flag's yellow background symbolizes the wheat fields of southern Saskatchewan. Agriculture is the foundation of the economy in this province. Most of the early French-Canadians settled in rural communities and made their living from the land.
The dark green of the cross represents the great boreal forest of the North. The cross itself is a reminder of the important role played by the Catholic church and the missionaries during Saskatchewan's early days.
The vibrant red of the fleur-de-lys represents the courage and determination of the Fransaskois in their struggle to preserve and further their language and culture. The fleur-de-lys is a symbol of French-speaking communities. This fleur-de-lys has the same shape as the one found on the flag used by the Metis during the Metis insurrection.
Dov Gutterman, 29 January 1999