This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

British Columbia: Construction Sheet (Canada)

Last modified: 2012-08-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: british columbia | construction sheet | british union flag | sun | crown |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

[upper portion of BC flag]
[lower portion of BC flag]
images by Martin Grieve and Christopher Southworth, 17-18 September 2005
Source: Specification Sheets by Christopher Southworth
using information from the College of Heralds
Note: the above consists of two separate images (top and lower elements).

Christopher Southworth notes:

This flag, a banner of arms, was originally established by an Order in Council that received Royal Assent on 31 March 1906, with display of the flag being authorized by Provincial Order in Council No. 1438 approved June 20 (or June 22) 1960. Unconfirmed information suggests that the proportions of 3:5 were also set on 20 June 1960, however, the construction details given here and based upon information published in the British Columbia Gazette (Part II) of 21 February 1963.

The Union Flag is a reminder of British Columbia's origins as a British colony, and stands for its continued links with the United Kingdom. The crown represents the sovereign power that links, in free association, the countries of the Commonwealth. The sun setting over the Pacific Ocean - symbolized by the wavy lines - is a reminder that British Columbia is the most westerly province of Canada.

Christopher and I have prepared two construction sheets, one for the top part (Union) and one for the lower.

On page 61 of the publication Flags of the World by Barraclough and Crampton (1978 edn.) [c2b78], the authors make reference to the Union Flag depicted and defaced on the upper part of the Provincial flag of British Columbia by way of mentioning that the overall proportions of this flag are 3:5 and "which results in the ungainly stretching of the Union Flag".

The overall proportions of this Union are 72:288 (from Christopher Southworth's construction sheet which was based upon information published in the British Columbia Gazette, Part II of 21 February 1963.) Note here that the construction details of the Union flag concerning the counterchanged St Patrick's Saltire, and it's relationship with the white St Andrew's Saltire differ from the standard pattern used on other Union Flags, no matter what their overall proportions are. It is "normal" that the width of the smaller white fimbriation is "doubled" to produce the width of the red St Patrick, and "trebled" to produce the width of the wider white "fimbriation", but the Union on the British Columbia flag in this respect, differs from this standard template: The width of the narrower white fimbriation is "trebled" to give the red width of St Patrick's Saltire, and then "quadrupled" to produce the wider white "fimbriation"

The crown that defaces the Union is another minor cause for concern, as some publications show the outline colour of the jewels embellished upon it as red, and others depict this as black. On this topic, Christopher Southworth observes that- "An official colour illustration from the College of Arms signed by Clarenceux King of Arms (marked "Royal Licence assigning the Arms dated 31 March 1906") produced in 1960 and printed in monochrome in the Official Gazette of 1963 shows red detail lines, whereas, a later official model shows the lines as black? A case of de facto against de jure perhaps, but since the authority lies with the Provincial Government as to the actual representation I would be inclined to use black.  A copy of this document is in the possession of Christopher, and therefore is an accurate account of the facts.

A setting Sun, similar in style to the Sun of May on Argentina's National flag forms a very striking feature on the Provincial flag of British Columbia. This Sun, if it were to be drawn in it's entirety would comprise of 60 rays, the angle between each ray being 6 degrees. The rays alternate in a spike/wavy fashion similar to the Sun of May, but the figure is symmetrical around the central vertical axis and so one half of the emblem is drawn and then "mirrored" vertically to produce the final product, which is then cut horizontally (towards the top) and placed on the flag. 7 alternating wavy stripes (4 white, 3 blue) comprise the background upon which this Sun is placed.

Barraclough and Crampton's book Flags of the World (1978) [c2b78] show the blue wavy stripes in a lighter tincture from the Union flag shade of blue, but many other publications depict these stripes as being of the exact same colour, so perhaps there is a variant?
Martin Grieve, 16-18 September 2005

Both the College of Arms illustration and the later official model show an identical shade of blue (PMS 286 or slightly lighter) for the wavy stripes and Union, so quite where Barraclough and Crampton got there versions is a bit of a mystery?
Christopher Southworth, 18 September 2005

Indeed - The Observer's Book of Flags (1966) [eva66] shows the blue as lighter also, albeit on the badge detail whereas Flaggenbook show the blue as the same shade as the Union. All the evidence here points to Union Flag blue.
Martin Grieve, 18 September 2005

Every British Columbia flag I can remember seeing has the UJ and the wavy bars in the same shade of blue as each other, however, the blue shade varies greatly.
Dean McGee, 18 September 2005

Pantone Colors

Yellow: 109
Red: 032
Blue 072
Office of Protocol, 6 December 2005
via Dean McGee