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History of Newfoundland
Whether Newfoundland and
Labrador should remain as an independent political entity, or join
the federation of the other British North American colonies, was an
issue from 1864 to 1949. In 1864, Newfoundland delegates attended
the Quebec Conference and signed the resolutions which became of
foundation of the 1867 British North America Act. But it was not
until over 80 years later, in 1949, that Newfoundland became a
With the collapse of
responsible government in 1934, followed by War II, Newfoundland
entered a new phase in its history, and in its relationship with
Canada. By 1945, the Canadians were coming to the conclusion that
incorporating Newfoundland into confederation made sense. The
British government thought the same. And the referendums held in
1948 showed that a majority of Newfoundlanders now agreed as well.
But the vote had been preceded by a long, tense and divisive debate,
and was followed by a difficult period of transition. Finally, on 31
March 1949, Newfoundlanders became Canadian citizens. How that
happened has been debated ever since.
©1997, J.K. Hiller
Flags of Newfoundland & Labrador
Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
flag of Newfoundland and Labrador was introduced in June
6,1980 and was designed by Newfoundland artist Christopher
Pratt. The flag design, with the proportions 2:1, was
approved by the House of Assembly of the province of
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, on May 28, 1980. It was
flown for the first time on Discovery Day; June 24, 1980.
The design was chosen due to
its broad symbolism.
The blue colour represents
the sea, the white colour represents snow and ice of winter,
the red colour represents the effort and struggle of
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and the gold colour
symbolizes the confidence Newfoundlanders and Labradorians
have in themselves and for the future.
triangles are meant as a tribute to the Union Flag, and
stand for the British heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The two red
triangles are meant to represent the two areas of the
province—the mainland and the island.
The gold arrow, according to
Pratt, points towards a "brighter future"; the arrow becomes
a sword, honouring the sacrifices of Newfoundlanders in
military service when the flag is draped as a vertical
The red triangles and the gold
arrow form a trident, symbolizing the province's dependence
on its fisheries and the resources of the sea.
flag is the Newfoundland Tricolour. Its colours are
vert, argent and rose, but it is commonly known as the
"Pink, White and Green".
||The origins of the "Pink,
White and Green" are obscure. Popular legend had it that it
came into being in the 1840s, but recent scholarship
suggests it was first used in the 1870s or later by the
Roman Catholic fraternal organization the "Star of the Sea"
association and became more widely used by other St. John's
and surrounding area Catholic groups shortly thereafter.
Given that, it was likely based
on the similar flag of Ireland (then also unofficial).
A "native flag" was displayed in public ceremonies alongside
the Union Flag when the Prince of Wales visited St. John's
in 1860, but that was likely a red, white and green flag
rather than the "Pink, White and Green" as is commonly
The tricolour flag was
superannuated as a potential officially recognized flag when
the British Parliament legislated a civil ensign for
Newfoundland in 1904, which was a Red Ensign defaced with
the Great Seal of Newfoundland. During the provincial flag
debates of the 1970s an edition of the Roman Catholic
archdiocese's newsletter "The Monitor" forwarded the idea
that the flag is symbolic of a tradition between local
ethnically-English Protestants (represented by the rose
colour) and ethnically-Irish Catholics (represented by the
The vert was said to represent
the flag of Brian Boru, the rose symbolized the Rose of
England and the argent represented the peace between them,
or the Cross of Saint Andrew.
This legend is unlikely,
however, as neither the Rose of England nor the Tudor Rose
is pink, and the Newfoundland Natives' Society, which was
claimed in the legend as being a Protestant society which
used a pink flag, actually contained Catholics as well as
Protestants, including a Catholic president at the supposed
time of the inception of the "Pink, White and Green". Pink
has never been used in any known fashion to represent
England, its people or any of the Protestant denominations.
In another version of the
legend, originating around 1900, it was claimed that the
green represented newly arriving Irish settlers to
Newfoundland and pink was again taken from the Natives'
Society flag, but this time the Natives' Society was said to
be a Roman Catholic group representing Catholics already
living in Newfoundland. Protestants were not included at
The latest interpretation of the
supposed symbolism of the "Pink, White and Green" seems to
have arisen in the 1970s during provincial flag debates in
Newfoundland as an effort to gain Protestant support for an
Irish-based flag - Protestants representing 60% of the
province's population - but it is unlikely to be a
factual account of history. The flag gained a sentimental
resurgence in the 1990s/2000s both as a political statement
and on products aimed at the tourism industry.