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University of British Columbia (Canada)

The University of British Columbia

Last modified: 2020-06-20 by rob raeside
Keywords: canada | book | sun | university of british columbia |
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The University of British Columbia image by Dave Fowler, 11 May 2020

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Description of the Flag

The University of British Columbia is situated in Vancouver, British Columbia. Although the existence of a university flag is mentioned at several places on the university web site. However, I did find an image of the coat of arms of the university on Wikipedia. This crest, to use the common although incorrect usage, consists of a standard shield with a rounded bottom and outlined in midnight blue. The field is white, and the university acronym is written at the top in very large midnight blue block letters. There are three midnight blue and two white parallel wavy lines below the acronym. The bottom of the shield contains a very large stylized sunburst in gold whose rays penetrate to the middle blue wavy line. These lines and the sunburst are both taken from the CoA and flag of the Province of British Columbia.
Ron Lahav, 23 November 2006

Technically, University of British Columbia is just outside the city, in an area commonly called the University Endowment Lands, which were never actually endowed on the University, but also never has been part of the city. Their mail is delivered to "Vancouver, BC."

This is a logo, but not the coat of arms. The arms have a book in the chief, with the motto, "Tuum Est" spelt out on the pages of the book. The motto was officially translated, "It's up to you" in the 50s, and officially translated "It is yours" by the 80s.

The flag is yellow at the hoist, and blue at the fly

The coat-of-arms is shown on the University archives website and explained on the colours page.

The University of British Columbia coat of arms (or crest) had been chosen by President Wesbrook himself. He based it on the coat of arms for the province, which shows a setting sun and three wavy blue lines representing the sea, beneath a Union Jack. Wesbrook replaced the Union Jack with an open book and the words "Tuum Est" (UBC's motto, meaning "It's yours" or "It's up to you"). But he kept the golden sun and the blue waves.

On receiving the recommendation that the University colours be blue and gold in conformity with the University crest, the Faculty gave its approval, subject to approval by the AMS Student Council and the University Senate.

On February 14, 1916, the Faculty were told that the AMS Student Council had asked that the blue in the University's colours be made more specifically "a deep rich Royal blue." However, the Committee on Academic Costume told the Faculty that "because of the difficulty of reproducing special shades of blue in fabrics and printed material, considerable latitude in these respects is permissible so long as there is no pronounced departure from the official shades," and it simply reiterated its recommendation that the University colours be "the blue and gold of the University crest."

The University of British Columbia ("The" is part of the name) is the oldest university in British Columbia, it held its first classes in 1915, but the Point Grey campus wasn't built until 1925. The campus in Kelowna (UBC Okanagan) opened in 2005 as a successor to Okanagan University College.

The visual identity information (PDF file) and gives 27 and a half pages of information about the graphic logo, and less than half a page (on p.3) to the Arms.

UBC Coat of Arms: The original visual identity was designed in 1915. This identity consists of a shield within which is a stylized book containing the words Tuum est and the stylized waves and sun graphics. The University of British Columbia Coat of Arms is authorized for use for ceremonial purposes, which include:

  • University of British Columbia degrees
  • diplomas
  • certificates
  • commemorative building plaques
  • formal personal invitations
  • formal recognition gifts and collateral materials

The Coat of Arms must be accompanied by the words “The University of British Columbia”.

Note: An artist's conception of the new University of British Columbia Winter Sports Centre shows an imaginary flag which appears to be a white flag with the University of British Columbia arms. some of the Olympic (ice) Hockey will be held at the new Winter Sports Centre.
Dean McGee, 26 November 2006

The flag does not use the very dark blue now utilized by the school in branding. Based on archived versions of the university website, I believe that these are the correct colors:
Blue is likely RGB 0, 51, 153
Gold is likely RGB 233, 177, 46

A second version of the flag uses the full shield of arms, including motto. It seems to used at the Okanagan campus.

The Musqueam Indian Band flag is also used on the Vancouver campus.
The Syilx Okanagan Nation flag is used on the Okanagan campus.

Shield of arms from the Governor General website:


Dave Fowler, 11 May 2020

Green College

Green College is a graduate college of the University of British Columbia.
It has no apparent flag, but it does have a coat of arms:
Dave Fowler, 21 May 2020