Flag of Montreal

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Flag of Montreal.svg
Proportion 1:2
Adopted 13 September 2017
Design Symmetric cross
Flag of Montreal from 1939 to 2017

The flag of Montreal was first displayed in May 1935 and is based on the city's coat of arms. It was revised in May 1939 and again in 13 September 2017. The flag's proportions are 1:2 in a symmetric cross.


The red heraldic cross represents the "Christian motives and principles which governed the founders of the city," according to the city's official web site.[1] The five emblems represent the ancestral presence of Indigenous peoples and the four main European ethnic groups that were settled in the city in the 19th century, and which are also represented on the Canadian Red Ensign. They are:

Image Description
Mtl-PinBlanc-Couleur-29-08-2017.jpg A white pine, representing the continual presence of Indigenous peoples, specifically using a central Haudenosaunee symbole
Blue Fleur-de-lys (Flag of Montreal).svg A blue Fleur-de-lys, of the Royal House of Bourbon, representing the French, the original settlers of the city.
(The original coat of arms on which the flag is modelled had a beaver in place of the fleur-de-lys until 1936.[2])
Red Rose of Lancaster (Flag of Montreal).svg A red Rose of Lancaster, representing the English.
Shamrock (Flag of Montreal).svg A shamrock, representing the Irish.
Thistle (Flag of Montreal).svg A thistle, representing the Scots.

Previous flag[edit]

Montreal's flag is based on its coat of arms. The original coat of arms was designed in 1833 by the first mayor of Montreal, Jacques Viger. It was similar to the current version with the difference that the red cross was a saltire and a beaver stood in the place of what is now a fleur-de-lys. The arms were revised in 1938.[citation needed]

Four years prior to the first raising of the revised flag, King George V, the sovereign of Canada, celebrated his Silver Jubilee (25th year on the throne) on Monday May 6, 1935. An article in the Montreal Gazette from May 3, 1935[3] reported that the city’s Jubilee committee had discovered a rule whereby official coats of arms of British corporations could be interpreted into flag banners. Per the article, Montreal prepared to raise its own distinct flag for the first time ever on the King’s Jubilee day based on the original coat of arms by Jacques Viger.[citation needed]

Current flag[edit]

On February 12, 2017, the Mayor of Montreal Denis Coderre announced a modification to the flag of Montreal to include a First Nations symbol[4]. The decision was made in 2017 during the city's 375th anniversary of the founding of the city. The symbol was chosen by the First Nations communities of Montreal, those being Haudenosaunee and Algonquin although there are large Inuit, Métis and Anishinaabeg populations.


  1. ^ "What do the symbols on Montréal's coat of arms mean?", Centre d'histoire de Montréal, Ville de Montréal, retrieved May 23, 2013
  2. ^ "Montreal coat of arms", engraving by John Henry Walker, McCord Museum, retrieved May 23, 2008
  3. ^ "Montreal to have city flag to fly", Montreal Gazette May 3-1935, retrieved November 17, 2011
  4. ^ "Les autochtones choisiront le nouveau symbole du drapeau de Montréal"(In French), La Presse Feb 14-2017, retrieved February 16, 2017

See also[edit]

External links[edit]