Flag of Acadia
|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (September 2012)|
The flag of Acadia was adopted on August 15, 1884, at the Second Acadian National Convention held in Miscouche, Prince Edward Island, by nearly 5,000 Acadian delegates from across the Maritimes. It was designed by Father Marcel-Francois Richard, a priest from Saint-Louis-de-Kent, New Brunswick. The Musée Acadien at the Université de Moncton has the original flag presented by Father Richard to the 1884 Convention. It was sewn by Marie Babineau.
According to Perry Biddiscombe:
The Tricolour represents the Motherland of the Acadians. The yellow star, the Stella Maris, is the symbol of Mary, Acadian national symbol and patron of the mariners. It is set on the blue stripe, because blue is the colour of Mary. The yellow colour of the star represents the Papacy.
Father Richard selected the French flag as the basis of the Acadian one to underline the adherence of the Acadians to the French civilization:
I wish that Acadia had a flag reminding not only that its children are French, but also that they are Acadians
Father Richard saw the star in the blue band as "the distinctive emblem of our Acadian nationality", representing the star of the Blessed Virgin of the Assumption, patron of the Acadians. The star also represented the starfish that guides the sailor "through storms and reefs". The gold colour of the star was chosen by Father Richard because it is the colour of the Pope, in order to show both the adherence of the Acadians to the Roman Catholic Church and the role of the Church in the history of Acadia.
The flag is a good example of an anachronism, and was mis-designed in 1884 by using the then current flag of France. The Acadian flag is based on the French Republic's Tricolore, however, France lost Acadia in 1755, when the French flag was still the Fleur-de-lis of the French Kingdom (the Tricolore was adopted in the French Revolution long after Acadia had become a British possession). The only flags which have flown over Acadia are the Fleur-de-lis, Union Jack, and Canada’s two flags. When Father Richard imagined the "motherland" of France, he was referencing the Kingdom, not the Republic, of France.
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