Flag of British Columbia

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British Columbia
Flag of British Columbia.svg
UseCivil and state flag
Adopted14 June 1960; 60 years ago (1960-06-14)
DesignA white banner with a Union Jack on the top third modified with a golden crown and three wavy blue lines on the bottom, all under a setting golden half-sun on the bottom.
Hypothetical flag of British Columbia, 1906–1960.svg
Variant flag of British Columbia
DesignBritish blue ensign in unofficial use between 1906 & 1960.
Flag of the Colony of British Columbia.svg
Variant flag of British Columbia
DesignBritish blue ensign used between 1866 & 1906.
Mile Zero of Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek.

The flag of British Columbia is based upon the shield of the provincial arms of British Columbia. At the top of the flag is a rendition of the Royal Union Flag, defaced in the centre by a crown, and with a setting sun below, representing the location of the province of British Columbia at the western end of Canada.


From 1870 to 1906, British Columbia was occasionally represented by a modified British blue ensign featuring various forms of the great seal of the Colony of British Columbia.[1] The current flag of British Columbia was based upon the 1906 arms of the province, designed by Arthur John Beanlands, the canon of Christ Church Cathedral.[2] Originally, the arms featured the Union Flag on the bottom. This was changed as it conflicted with the expression "The sun never sets on the British Empire." Based upon Beanlands' revised design, the flag of British Columbia was introduced on June 14, 1960, by Premier W. A. C. Bennett, and was first flown on board the BC Ferries motor vessel Sidney (later Queen of Sidney).


The four wavy white and three wavy blue lines symbolize the province's location between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. The setting sun represents the fact that British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province. The sun may also reflect the provincial motto "Splendor sine occasu" (beauty without diminish)—or, in other words, the sun that never sets (on the British Empire). The Union Flag on top reflects the province's British heritage, while the crown in the centre represents British Columbia becoming a Crown colony and achieving responsible government. The flag has an aspect ratio of 3:5.[3]

A stylized version of the flag that appears on British Columbia licence plates incorrectly features the setting sun overlapping the Union Flag instead of the waves.

The flag of British Columbia is similar to the flag of the British Indian Ocean Territory. It also bears similarities to the arms of Suffolk County Council, the local authority of the county of Suffolk in the United Kingdom. As well as the flag of Kiribati, which features the blue waves for the Pacific Ocean and a sun for its own cultural reasons.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Victoria Daily Colonist. "Victoria illustrated".
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. "British Columbia, flag of".
  3. ^ Government of British Columbia. "B.C. Facts". Province of British Columbia. Archived from the original on July 7, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2008.

External links[edit]