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Quebec Flag Proposals (1938)

Last modified: 2012-08-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: quebec | proposal |
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The official website of the government of Quebec dedicated to the provincial flag as been updated recently and now contain pictures of the flag proposals preceding the adoption of the current one:

(in French) at

Very little information - but I have found an article that shed a bit more light here:

All proposals came from Burroughs Pelletier then Director of provincial urbanism service and future founder of the Heraldic Society in Canada (though the actual drawings were done by Gérard Gallienne, a public servant of the Cartographical service of the Mining ministry). They were made at the request of then Premier Maurice Duplessis. Even though the popular choice was to adopt one of the Fleur-de-lis as a provincial flag, it seemed that it was perceived by some as "too separatist" and an alternative was desired.

Of note is the fact that they all use the original Coat-of-Arms of Québec (in chief: or 2 fleur-de-lis azur) instead of the one adopted by decree in 1939 (in chief azur 3 fleur-de-lys or). It is quite possible that the choice was deliberate and based on trying to bring "legitimacy" to the flag by choosing the Coat-of-Arms that had the backing of the heraldic authority.

Proposal A
[Proposal A]
by Marc Pasquin

Proposal "A" is simply a banner of arms. Of all the projects, this is the only one to ever existed as a real life flag. In 1938 and at Pelletier's recommendation, the mining ministry had ordered 2 of them for the opening celebration of a mining school. This was his favorite proposal.

Proposal B
[Proposal B]
by Marc Pasquin

Proposal "B" is based around the blue ensign but with the banner of arms replacing the Union Jack.

Proposal C
[Proposal C]
by Marc Pasquin

Proposal "C" Took the white cross on blue from the fleur-de-lis but with blank quarters and defaced with the Coat-of-Arms (including crown and motto) in the center. This was probably inspired by the design of the old French merchant flags.

Proposal D
[Proposal D]
by Marc Pasquin

Proposal "D" as "C" but the instead of the Coat-of-Arms in the middle, a banner of arms is in canton. Probably inspired by the British white ensign design.

Apart from those on the website, I was able to find the descriptions of 3 more proposal submitted at the same time:

Proposal C2
[Proposal C2]
by Marc Pasquin

Proposal "C2" like "C" but bigger Coat-of-Arms without the motto.

Proposal C3
[Proposal C3]
by Marc Pasquin

Proposal "C3" like "C" but bigger Coat-of-Arms without the motto or the crown.

Proposal E
[Proposal e]
by Marc Pasquin

Proposal "E" 7 equal horizontal bars (R-W-B-W-B-W-R) with the banner or arms in canton. It might have been considered too much like the American one.

In the end, popular pressure won out due to large scale campaigning from groups like the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society and the order of Jacques Cartier who organised actions such as petition signing all around the province. Duplessis himself is said to have preferred one of the "C" (apparently as a compromise between francophones and anglophones).
Marc Pasquin, 23 August 2004