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St. Catharines, Ontario (Canada)

Niagara Regional Municipality

Last modified: 2022-04-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: st. catharines | ontario |
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Flag of St. Catharines, Ontario (Canada) 1:2 image by Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18

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St. Catharines

St. Catharines is the largest city in Canada's Niagara Region and the sixth largest urban area in Ontario. It lies in southern Ontario, 51 km south of Toronto across Lake Ontario, and 19 km inland from the international boundary with the United States along the Niagara River. It is the northern entrance of the Welland Canal. St. Catharines carries the official nickname "The Garden City" due to its 1,000 acres of parks, gardens and trails.

Current Flag

Text and image(s) from Canadian City Flags, Raven 18 (2011), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) by permission of Eugene Ipavec.


The flag of the City of St. Catharines is a Canadian pale design of green-white-green, with the city’s coat of arms displayed in the centre, nearly the full height of the flag. The simple shield has a horizontal top and straight then simply-curved sides forming a pointed “U” shape. It is divided quarterly by a cross of yellow edged in black. The first quarter is white with a square-rigged three-masted sailing ship with white sails, in black outline, prow toward the hoist, sailing on an ocean of white with black waves; the second is blue with an upright cornucopia in yellow with white fruit and leaves issuing from it; the third is blue with a millstone depicted by a white central disc with twelve segments alternating black and white emanating from it and curving clockwise; the fourth is white with a steamship, prow toward the hoist, with white sails, in black outline and on an ocean of white with black waves. Above the shield, on a white platform, is a beehive in yellow with black details and seven bees in yellow arching around it. Below the shield is a ribbon in yellow, inscribed INDUSTRY AND LIBERALITY in black sans-serif letters, across three segments.
John M. Purcell, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011


The green represents the city’s nickname, “The Garden City”. The beehive alludes to industry. The motto on the scroll is explained by the city: “Industry” refers to all forms of economic activity and productive occupations and “Liberality” to being free and generous without prejudice”. The cross represents the crossroads of the Niagara Region. The figures on the shield are also explained by the city:

THE SAILING SHIP alludes to navigation. The forerunner to the first Welland Canal was the watercourse of the Twelve Mile Creek with enabled sailing ships to travel and be pulled by horses up the watercourse to the heart of our City. Subsequently, the early navigational course was developed into a canal and preceded three ship canals that followed a path through our City until the present day fourth ship canal. THE CORNUCOPIA, commonly referred to as a “Horn of Plenty”, pertains to the rich agriculture and fruit-lands abundant in the area. THE MILLSTONE (sometimes, incorrectly, referred to as a grindstone) symbolizes the grist mills and flour mills prevalent of an earlier era. These mills were built along the Twelve Mile Creek that provided an inexpensive and plentiful supply of water used to operate them. THE STEAMSHIP WITH SAILS relates to the shipbuilding in the area by Mr. Lewis Shikluna, a builder of many fine sailing vessels and credited with helping to build a steamship that sailed the Atlantic Ocean to England. The early shipyards were located near the foot of Burgoyne Bridge; however, shipbuilding has always been a thriving industry in the area, with shipyards at the former Port Dalhousie, on the Twelve Mile Creek, and the new modern facilities at the Port Weller Dry Docks.

John M. Purcell, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011


The flag is a redesign of an earlier flag.
John M. Purcell, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011


Rev. (later Bishop) D. Ralph Spence (named Albion Herald Extraordinary by the Canadian Heraldic Authority in 2006).
John M. Purcell, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

This photo posted by Danforth Guy in the FOTW Facebook group, shows that the St. Catherines flag uses a much deeper green than shown above.
Dave Fowler, 20 March 2022

Former Flag

Flag of St. Catharines, Ontario (Canada) 1:2 image by Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18

The flag in use before 1979 has the coat of arms in blue outline on a white field. The arms on that flag are somewhat more elaborately drawn with a rococo shield and mantling. The date of the first use of that flag is uncertain. The coat of arms dates to November 1851, but there is no record of who designed it. The coat of arms was officially registered as a trade-mark with the Government of Canada in 1976, but is not a grant from the Canadian Heraldic Authority.
John M. Purcell, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Merritton Community

Merritton community is taking efforts for its own flag, based on the former Town of Merritton former crest. See the story and image of the flag:

Merritton article in Wikipedia:,_Ontario

Valentin Poposki, 21 March 2011