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Brandon, Manitoba (Canada)

Last modified: 2018-07-06 by rob raeside
Keywords: brandon | winnipeg | wheat | tree | horse |
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[Brandon Manitoba] 2:3 image by Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18

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Brandon

Brandon is known as the "wheat city" (its junior hockey team is the "Brandon Wheat Kings"), it got its start as an agricultural community, but is now Manitoba's second largest city (still about 15 times smaller than Winnipeg, though.)

Brandon was never a town or a village, but began its official existence as a City. In the spring of 1881, General Rosser, the railroad official in charge of designating town sites, selected the present site of the City of Brandon as a major divisional point. The first passenger train steamed into Brandon early in October of 1881. From the few scattered dwellings and 2000 residents that had greeted the arrival of the "Iron Horse", Brandon's population mushroomed in less than a year to 5,000+ and on May 30th, 1882, the provincial government enacted "The Brandon Charter" which incorporated Brandon as a city. The name "Brandon" was derived from the Blue Hills of Brandon, a name which was received second hand from a Hudson's Bay trading post known as Brandon House. The trading post, in turn, had been named after a hill on an island in James Bay where Capt. James had moored his ship in the winter of 1631.

(Source: The Fort Brandon Story by Roy Brown - 1974) This is from a fax I received from Judy Whittingham, Secretary to the Mayor, in April 2005.
Dean McGee, 13-14 November 2005


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 Brandon is an uneven vertical bicolour of one-third golden yellow and two-thirds green. In the centre of the green section is a simple shield in golden yellow, edged in black and three-fourths the height of the flag. It has a horizontal top and simple sides curving down to a point. On it is a black horse rearing on its hind legs, looking to the left, two-thirds the height of the shield. Above the horse is a row of three oak leaves stems-downward, in green, and over each leaf is a small green inverted “V”. In the upper part of the yellow section is a six-pointed snowflake in green, each arm bearing a stalk of wheat in golden yellow with black details, the stalks meeting in the centre.
Jim Croft, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Symbolism

Brandon was named for the Blue Hills of Brandon, whose namesake was a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post established in 1793 as Brandon House, itself named either for the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, a company shareholder, or after a hill on an island in James Bay, part of Hudson’s Bay. The oak leaves honour the duke, as an oak tree appears in one of his coats of arms. The inverted “V”s recall the roofs of houses in the city. The horse derives from the previous municipal emblem. The snowflake-wheat device is the municipal badge, and signifies the importance of this crop to the local economy and represents one of the city’s nicknames, “The Wheat City”.
Jim Croft, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Selection

The city applied to the Canadian Heraldic Authority for a grant of a flag.
Jim Croft, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Designer

Darrel Kennedy, Assiniboine Herald, assisted by other heralds of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.
Jim Croft, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011


Former Flag

[Brandon Manitoba] 2:3 image by Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18

Brandon had a previous civic flag, in proportions of 1:2, adopted by the city council on 11 January 1982. It also existed as a table flag, in 2:3 proportions (as shown here). At the hoist are vertical stripes of green and golden yellow, each stripe 3/20 the length of the flag. Centred on the remaining white field is an elaborate shield in white outlined with a green ornamental border, one-third the height of the flag. On the shield is a black horse galloping toward the left, behind a tree on a field of grass, both in green. The motto, VIRES ACUIRIT EUNDO (in Latin, “She acquires strength through progress”), arches in black sans-serif letters above the tree. Behind the shield are crossed sheaves of wheat in yellow. At the crest of the shield arches a white ribbon with CITY OF, and at the base curve two separate white ribbons with BRANDON and MANITOBA, all in green sans-serif letters outlined in black. The tree symbolizes nature within the city. The figure of the horse began as a stag, representing the wildlife of the area (in the original design the hart or stag had antlers, but through the years they disappeared from the design, so now it is assumed to be a horse). The wheat represents an important economic resource to the city and refers to “The Wheat City”. The flag was selected in 1982, when the Centennial Board received a suggestion from the public to have a city flag. The flag was created by a design firm in Winnipeg.
Jim Croft, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011 

A page from the Flag Research Center, dated 2003 gives a description along with a Black/White drawing. The only discrepancies with Arnaud's image are that the Flag Research Center states the border of the shield, as well as the lettering "CITY OF BRANDON MANITOBA" are Black, not Green. The Flag Research Center points out that the tree in the Arms is growing out of a stump (the City doesn't mention the stump in its description) and states that the animal in the arms was originally intended to be a hart or stag. Proportions, like most Canadian Cities are 1:2 with 2:3 commonly being used for "small flags".
Dean McGee, 13-14 November 2005