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History of Newfoundland

Snapshot on Newfoundland History:

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 Canadian province.

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

http://www.heritage.nf.ca/law/confed.html

 


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The "Flags" of Newfoundland and Labrador

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 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.

The Flag of Newfoundland and Labrador

The blue 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 banner.

The red triangles and the gold arrow form a trident, symbolizing the province's dependence on its fisheries and the resources of the sea.


An unofficial flag is the Newfoundland Tricolour.  Its colours are vert, argent and rose, but it is commonly known as the "Pink, White and Green".
 

The Tri Colour Flag of Newfoundland 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 believed.

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 green).

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 all.

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[8] - 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.


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