An Early Saskatchewan Flag

This is really interesting, I had no idea about this red over green Sask. flag.

Thanks to the Sask. Liberals and Ryan Bater for writing about its history.

One of the greatest aspects parts of touring the province is finding little nuggets of history that you never knew about before. While visiting Ponteix on a very hot afternoon we were surprised to find a flag in the Town’s Council Chambers that we had never seen before- but by its appearance was distinctively Saskatchewan. It was a bicolour of red over green. At the hoist was a single stalk of wheat and in the upper fly, the provincial arms.

Saskatchewan Liberal Vice President Evan Ozirny and I debated the identity of the flag. I maintained that it must be an old Saskatchewan flag that predates our current one; he believed it was the Town’s flag. This was the third debate we had on our trip so far, and neither of us would allow too much time to pass until we knew the answer.

Speedy research by Mayor Etienette Binette would prove that I was correct. We had found Saskatchewan’s Diamond Jubilee Flag.

As it turns out, in 1964 the Saskatchewan government organized a competition for a distinctive flag in anticipation of the 60th anniversary of the Province. It was recommended that the colours of the provincial coat of arms, granted by royal warrant in 1906, be included. The winning flag was selected out of 241 entries and was designed by Sister Imelda of St. Angela’s Convent at Prelate. The green represented luxuriant growth while the red suggested the fires which swept the Prairies in the early days before cultivation.

The Diamond Jubilee Flag of Saskatchewan first officially hoisted on January 31, 1965. The use of this flag was soon extended to the Centennial celebrations of 1967. For these events, the flag was widely flown as if it was the provincial flag, and indeed, its sponsors hoped that it would, in fact, become the provincial flag.

6 responses to “An Early Saskatchewan Flag

  1. As a child in the 1970s, I saw this flag often hanging amongst the provincial flags at the Pointe Claire (Quebec) indoor municipal pool. How it got there, I cannot say. It always seemed such a mysterious object… like something from an alternate universe.

    Thank you for pointing this out.

  2. This Jubilee Flag was designed by my Great Aunt Sister Imelda Burgart. I have never considered the current flag to be the official flag. I have always considered her flag to be the official one. My Aunt is 91 years old now. I always felt they dishonored her flag by having yet another contest for a flag design. Our family was quite dismayed!!!

    • Sister Imelda’s flag was part of a competition and they had hoped it would be the official flag. Then why would they have held another competition only two years later when they had already been flying my aunt’s flag like it was the official one. We have always found that strange. Sister Imelda is a wonderful lady and I just saw her two weeks ago at her sisters funeral (her sister was 99 years old). She is the last survivor in her family of 11 children. She is an amazing artist and makes beautiful greeting cards.

      • In my experience, logos and flags always have a lot of debate around them, for some reason. Aesthetics are subjective, and there’s an insatiable demand in our society to always having something newer.

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