Canton (flag)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A canton in a flag is a rectangular area at the top hoist corner of a flag, occupying up to a quarter of the flag's area. The canton of a flag may be a flag in its own right. For instance, British ensigns have the Union Jack as their canton, as do their derivatives such as the national flags of Australia and New Zealand.

Following the practice of British ensigns, a canton sometimes contains a symbol of national unity such as the blue field and white stars of the U.S. flag. In these cases, the canton may be called simply the union.

The U.S. flag's canton derives from the British use of the Union Jack in the canton of its possessions (including, historically, the early United States). Subsequently, many New World nations (and other later countries and regions, such as Liberia or Malaysia) that were inspired by the U.S. incorporated elements likewise inspired by the U.S. flag. As a result, many extant uses of a prominent canton derive either from British territorial history, or U.S. influence and inspiration.

Current flags using cantons[edit]


Territories and subdivisions[edit]

United States[edit]

The design of the U.S. flag, including its prominent use of the canton (aka union), has inspired similar designs, including cantons, in flags of some U.S. subdivisions.

Former flags[edit]


All of the Australian states (though not territories) adopt the use of the British flag in their cantons.



Two Canadian provinces adopt the use of the British flag in their cantons.

Dominican Republic[edit]

El Salvador[edit]





Every county flag of Liberia contains the Liberian flag in its canton.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]