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Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (Canada)

Algoma District

Last modified: 2020-06-13 by rob raeside
Keywords: ontario | sault ste. marie |
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image by Jordan Tibbles, 13 April 2017

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Description of the flag

A new flag could soon fly over Sault Ste. Marie.

The city will begin seeking proposals for designs for a revamped municipal flag. The move comes as new municipal Coat of Arms is in the final stages of approval from Office of the Governor General of Canada.

During Monday night’s council meeting Councillor Matthew Shoemaker pointed out that there are conflicting views about what the municipal flag actually looks like. The consensus seemed to be that we don’t really have an official municipal flag adopted by the city “that is something that all of Sault Ste. Marie can display and be proud of,” he said. With the coat of arms changing, it presents an opportunity to develop a new flag so the city can “have something that is simple, elegant, and could be something that we encourage our residents to fly,” Shoemaker said.

The city will look to design staff within at city hall to see if they can come up with a municipal flag design that council can consider. If that proves unfruitful, the city will explore other options. A committee will be formed to review the Sault Ste. Marie municipal flag proposals and make a recommendation to council on a new design. Local artist Eva Pilar-Cass designed the new coat of arms. It will receive approval from the heraldic society and from the Governor General. Cost for the preliminary design artwork for the coat of arms is $595.
located by Dave Fowler, 17 August 2015

A resolution put forward by Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Shoemaker, calling for a new, official municipal flag, was passed by council Monday. Shoemaker, along with councillors Susan Myers and Judy Hupponen, will sit on a committee struck by council to help unfurl the flag process. "We don't really have an official flag," Shoemaker told council, pointing out some miniature Sault Ste. Marie flags sport the city's crest against a blue background while others have the Sault's "Naturally Gifted" brand against a green background. "We need an official flag, right now we have two versions of a flag," Myers said in agreement. There was no official timeline given or discussion of the cost of the flag project at Monday's meeting.

Wording of the original resolution called for proposals for a new municipal flag until December 31, 2015. Councillors decided, however, to go in-house and consult designers who work for the city in regard to a design for a new municipal flag. The resolution noted the new municipal coat of arms is in the final stages of approval from the Office of the Governor General of Canada and that the new coat of arms will mean a necessary change in the Sault’s municipal flag. 

The city’s municipal crest (which is not an official coat of arms) is currently shown on the city’s existing municipal flag on a light blue background. The city’s new official coat of arms, along with a corresponding coat of arms for the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, was unveiled in March, 2014.
located by Rob Raeside, 17 August 2015

According to, the new flag has been adopted.
Dave Fowler, 31 January 2016

The ratio of the flag seems to be 9:16 but I’d expect 1:2 to match the national flag and most Canadian subnational flags. The logo that features on the flag was uses on the 2012 centennial flag. It is very dark blue and wavy along top and bottom, suggesting a waving flag, and with a simple logo centered on the flag showing two hills and a large upright maple leaf (stylized as on the national flag) and two large wavy shapes at the bottom of this, all enclosed in a disc but both the leaf and the waves considerably overflowing it at the fly side.

Except for the flag background, everything else (i.e., all other elements of the logo), are filled not in solid colors but in horizontal gradients: the sky goes to pale bluish green to pale greenish yellow, the leaf goes to golden yellow to reddish orange, the upper waves goes from petrol blue to bluish teal, and the the thick contour line separating all elements goes from dark to light brownish green/golden.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 5 February 2016

Several images confirm the wavy flag design:

- (first flag from left to right), 
(source: )

Esteban Rivera, 30 July 2016

Flag as manufactured

image by Jordan Tibbles, 13 April 2017

The flag is actually designed with the wave in it (i.e., it isn't a rectangle). However, it is printed on a rectangular banner for cost purposes, but the design of the flag ends at the gold outlines. The white areas in the top left and bottom right of the flag actually aren't part of the flag design.
Matthew Shoemaker, 29 July 2016

A second unofficial flag design mentioned has the city’s "Naturally Gifted" brand motto on a green background, but I found no image of it. The website at includes it along with the logo.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 5 February 2016

Former (unofficial) flag

image located by António Martins-Tuválkin, 5 February 2016
Based on: and Canadian City Flags, Raven 18

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 former flag of the City of Sault Ste. Marie has a blue field bearing in its centre a coat of arms and inscription on a white panel closely bordering its outlines. The panel is three-fourths the height of the flag; the coat of arms is half the height of the flag. The upper part of the panel forms a semicircle; the lower part is irregular, following the base of the coat of arms. The inscription arches with the top edge of the full half-circle, and reads THE CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF in black sans-serif letters. The white ribbon below the shield of the arms has four sections, each bearing one word, reading SAULT STE. MARIE CANADA in smaller black sans-serif letters. The simple shield of the arms is nearly triangular, with a horizontal top and slightly curved sides. It is divided in half horizontally by a yellow band inscribed OJIBWA KITCHE GUMEENG ODENA in black sans-serif letters. The section above the yellow band depicts a canal in perspective with blue water and a three-sided grey perimeter. On either side of the canal are three hemlock trees; in the background are buildings with a frontal view of a ship between them, all in white with black details. The section below the yellow band is divided vertically. The panel on the left is grey with three railroad rails depicted in cross-section in blue, two over one. The panel on the right is blue with three narrow evergreen trees in grey in a horizontal row; the central tree is set half its height lower than the others. Above the shield is a beaver (Castor canadensis), in white with black details, facing left on a patch of wood from which extend on either side a branch with four maple leaves in yellow. They flank the beaver and an imperial crown above it. The crown has a yellow base, a grey headpiece, and yellow ornamentation, including two fleurs-de-lis and a cross at the top, all with white and black details. On the left of the shield stands a First Nations man, on the right a steelworker, both in white with black details. The First Nations man holds a hatchet in his left hand and a shield in his right hand—the shield has concentric rings of yellow and grey. The steelworker holds a smelting rod in yellow. Both stand atop ornamental scrollwork in yellow, the outer ends flared slightly and the inner ends touching the lower parts of the shield.
Christopher Bedwell, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011


The Sault Ste. Marie Canal was completed in 1895 and operated commercially until 1987. Re-opened in 1998 to recreational traffic, the canal is the final link connecting the St. Lawrence River to Lake Superior. The beaver, the national animal, represents Canada, and the crown refers to the fact that Canada is a constitutional monarchy. The trees recall the hemlock and pine forests of the region; the rails symbolize the importance of Sault Ste. Marie as a manufacturing and commerce centre. The Ojibway (sometimes known in the U. S. as Chippewa) were the original inhabitants of the area. Ojibwa Kitche Gumeeng Odena means “Ojibway town next to big body of water”.
Christopher Bedwell, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011


Unknown. The arms appear to have been assumed, not granted by any heraldic authority.
Christopher Bedwell, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011


Christopher Bedwell, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

More about the flag

The actual city coat of arms differs slightly from versions on the current and former flag.
Christopher Bedwell, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

The old coat of arms or city crest is believed to have been introduced with the city incorporated in 1912 but was never officially registered.
located by Dave Fowler, 17 August 2015

Variant of former flag

image by Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18

Centennial flag

image by Randy Young, 3 February 2016

A green flag bearing a central white disk with the logo on it.
Valentin Poposki, 22 July 2012