Flags of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom


So I had a little attempt at vexillology. Since I am from the United Kingdom I had a look at our own Floral Symbols, Coat of Arms and Flag as well as the countries with the closest relations to the United Kingdom such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

 

Extended chart:

It took me a long time to piece together this chart and it is now on Revision 12. This extended chart incorporates all the State Flags as well as the Overseas Territories. Let me know what you think.

You will need to view the extended chart on a proper screen (it will be impossible to see on most mobile devices) click to maximise (or better right click and select save as…) to view in detail. Feel free to share it.

Bonus question, how many “Union Jacks” are on the chart?

Basic chart:

This basic chart just looks at the Red, White and Blue Ensigns of the main countries; Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

For best results view the basic chart on a proper screen (it will be impossible to see on most mobile devices) click to maximise (or better right click and select save as…) to view in detail. Feel free to share it.

Edit note, add the 1970 Canadian Red Ensign to the Basic Chart.

CANZUK Flag Timeline Updated 5 to 3

I made also a YouTube video showing the evolution here:

Individual Flags with Notes:

1. St Andrew’s Cross – Scotland

0832 Scotland

This is the Flag of Scotland and is the oldest flag in Europe and the Commonwealth. The flag originally was a white cross on a sky blue background which was seen as a sign that St Andrew’s responding to King Angus’s prayer of deliverance. After King Angus’s victory St Andrew’s was made the patron St of Scotland. More details here The Legend of the Saltire.

Nowadays this flag is often seen with a Navy Blue Background or Royal Blue Background.

2. St George’s Cross – England

1118 England

St George’s Cross was initially associated with the Crusades. In 1188, red and white crosses were chosen to identify English and French troops in the Kings Crusade of Henry II of England and Phillip II of France.

https://www.flagpoles.co.uk/blog/the-history-of-the-st-george-flag/

https://crusaderhistory.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/knights-templar-st-georges-cross/

Although St George’s Cross is the national flag of England.

1284 Wales was a Principality of the Kingdom of England.

3. Royal Standards

1198 Royal Standard of England 1222 The Royal Banner of Scotland 1365 Flag of the Kingdom of France 1542 Royal Standard of the Kingdom of Ireland

 

 

 

1707 1. Kings Colours Construction 1707 2. Kings Colours 1707 4. Kings Colours Red Ensign 1707 5. Kings Colours Blue Ensign 1707 6. Kings Colours White Ensign 1707 8. Kings Colours British East India Company

 

1783 Ireland 1801 2. Union Flag 1801 3. Union Flag 1801 4. Union Flag Red Ensign 1801 5. Union Flag Blue Ensign 1801 6. Union Flag White Naval Ensign 1801 8. The Irish Green Ensign 1801 9. The British East India Company 1858 Nova Scotia

 

1867 New Zealand Blue Ensign 1868 The Canadian Red Ensign S. All

Shield 1. Ontario (St George’s Cross and Maple Leaf), 2. Quebec (Fleur De Lis, Royal Lion of England and Maple Leaf), 3. Nova Scotia (Thistle and Fish) and 4. New Brunswick (Royal Lion of England and sailing ship).

1873 The Canadian Red Ensign S. All

Shield 5. Manitoba (St George’s Cross and bison who roamed the province), 6. British Colombia (The royal crest of the Imperial Lion upon the Imperial Crown), 7. Prince Edward Island (Three oak samplings denoting the Island’s three counties beneath a mature Oak which represents Great Britain).

1896 The Canadian Red Ensign S. All

Shield 6. British Colombia Updated (“The sun never sets on the British Empire”)

1901A StarConstellations 1901B TheSouthernCross 1901C The New Zealand Red Ensign Construction Part 1 1901D The New Zealand Red Ensign Construction Part 2 1901I All TheNewZealandRedEnsign 1901J All TheNewZealandRedEnsign

New Zealand had a referendum on changing their flag. They decided to keep their Blue Ensign:

The Southern Cross Crux α-Crux 9 sided, β-Crux 8 sided, γ-Crux 7 sided, δ-Crux 6 sided and ε-Crux 5 sided. The number of sides in each star denotes the relative brightness of the Southern Cross.

The Commonwealth star 6-sided representing the 6 states of the Commonwealth of Australia.

See the first Australia Red Ensign restored to its glory:

1903B TheAustralianRedEnsign2 1903C TheAustralianBlueEnsign2 All stars in the Crux updated to 7 sides. This emphasises the Commonwealth star which is updated to 7 sides denoting 6 states and a territory (and any future territories).

1907 The Canadian Red Ensign S. All

Shield 7. Alberta (St George Cross above Rocky Mountains and their foothills followed by grass prairies and cultivated wheat fields) and 8. Saskatchewan (Royal Lion on yellow field – similar to the Royal banner of Scotland and three gold sheaves of wheat representing the province’s agriculture)

1907B TheAustralianRedEnsign3 1907C TheAustralianBlueEnsign3

All stars in the Crux updated to 7 sides. This emphasises the Commonwealth star which is updated to 7 sides (6 territories and a state).

1920 The British Royal Airforce Sky Blue Ensign 1921 The Canadian Red Ensign 1. Construction 1921 The Canadian Red Ensign 2. Construction 1921 The Canadian Red Ensign 3. Construction 1921 The Canadian Red Ensign S. All 1921 The Canadian T Blue Ensign T. All 1923 The New Zealand Royal Airforce Sky Blue Ensign 1940 The British Royal Airforce Sky Blue Ensign 1941 TheAustralianBlueEnsign 1946 The Canadian Red Ensign Flag Proposal 1948 The Australian Royal Airforce Sky Blue Ensign 1953 TheAustralianBlueEnsign 1957 The Canadian Red Ensign 1957 The Canadian T Blue Ensign T. All 1964 The Canadian Maple Leaf Design Proposal

The change of flag was forced upon Canada by the Liberal government despite the popularity of the much loved Canadian Red Ensign (my personally favourite flag). If a referendum had occurred on the flag change it may have likely failed like the case with New Zealand. See the Great Canadian Flag Debate:

1965 The Canadian Maple Leaf 1967 The Australian White Ensign 1968 A. The New Zealand White Ensign 1968 B. The Canadian White Ensign 1982 The Australian Royal Airforce Sky Blue Ensign 1982 The Canadian Royal Sky Blue Ensign (Airforce Ensign)

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2 thoughts on “Flags of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom

  1. Hi. I don’t understand that first graphic. Canada has a maple leaf, not a union jack.

    1. Canada is one of the nations with the strongest historical ties to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801-1922, Northern afterwards). It’s flag was a defaced British Ensign like the flags of Australia and New Zealand. Canada took the Red Ensign opposed to the Blue Ensign favoured by Australia and New Zealand. In the past there was a great debate about changing it as shown here (it’s black and white due to the age):

      In short the government changed the flag without a referendum to the Maple Leaf however two provinces Manitoba and Ontario have kept a Red Ensign as their state province flag.

      The graphic you commented on is from an old post. There is an updated schematic here:
      http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/2018/02/01/canzuk-freedom-of-movement-petition/
      There is also a video which shows the main flags but not all the State Flags.

      I have made a more accurate and detailed timeline (this took a while to produce) showing the evolution of the Canadian and Australian flags here (you’ll need a decent screen to see it):

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