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Lethbridge, Alberta (Canada)

Last modified: 2018-07-04 by rob raeside
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[Lethbridge, Alberta] 1:2 image by Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18


See also:


Lethbridge

Lethbridge is the largest city in southern Alberta. It lies southeast of Calgary on the Oldman River. Lethbridge is the commercial, financial, transportation and industrial centre of southern Alberta.


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.

Design

The flag of the City of Lethbridge has seven red and six white horizontal stripes and a canton of navy blue and white, approximately 7/12 the height and 5/12 the length of the flag. All red stripes are of equal width except for the fifth from the top, which corresponds to the base of the canton and is much narrower. The lower two white stripes are slightly wider than the red stripes; the others are half that width. The canton is white with a navy blue border and seven narrow horizontal lines of navy blue, equally spaced, forming eight white stripes. Aligned with the top left of the canton is a rectangle half the canton’s width and three-fourths its height, crossed by two narrow horizontal lines of navy blue, equally spaced. A vertical bar of navy blue runs from top to bottom of this rectangle, one-third of its width.
Alison Wilkes, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Symbolism

The flag approximates the original flag of Fort Whoop-Up (the nickname for Fort Hamilton), a trading post established in 1869 as the first non-native settlement in Lethbridge. The design recalls the United States flag with thirteen red and white stripes and a blue design for the canton. It has been suggested the design is reflective of what an inebriated person might draw while attempting to draw the Stars and Stripes, which would be consistent with its origin as the symbol of an American whisky trading outpost. The design was based on a single photograph in the archives of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, and several written contemporary descriptions. The resolution adopting the flag in 1971 stated:
And whereas because of its historical significance and uniqueness the Fort Whoop-Up Flag has become a symbol of Lethbridge representing not only its background, or the influence of our neighbours to the south of Canada, as related to our native people, but also of a City that defied the rigorous climate, geography, and isolation, to become first a coal mining town, to a farm and ranching pioneering community, to the centre of Canada’s irrigation farming, and now an industrial City with a future in education, culture, and a civilization built on an industrious multiracial people upholding the principle of government under the rule of law, recognizing the worth and dignity of the individual and the right of all citizens to share in its future and the future of Canada, now therefore be it resolved that the Fort Whoop-Up Flag be now adopted as the official flag of the municipal corporation of the City of Lethbridge.
Alison Wilkes, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Selection

With the Canadian centennial approaching in 1967, many communities regained an interest in Canadian history. As reported by the city: As part of Canadian centennial observances in 1967, the Lethbridge Kinsmen Club undertook to locate and reconstruct a replica of Fort Whoop-Up, an outpost established 1868–1888 by whisky traders from the Great Falls/Fort Benton, Montana, area to trade an adulterated form of whisky alcohol to native Canadians for furs. Part of the effort to assure the replica was accurate included the research by Alex Johnston which resulted in not only the design of the original wood fort, but the “Whoop-Up” Flag as well. The flag was officially adopted 22 March 1971 by city council resolution.
Alison Wilkes, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Designer

Lethbridge historian Alex Johnston.
Alison Wilkes, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011