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Ottawa, Ontario (Canada)

Last modified: 2018-07-10 by rob raeside
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[Ottawa flag] 1:2 image by Zachary Harden, 27 February 2007 and Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18


See also:

Ottawa

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; the two form the core of the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area and the National Capital Region (NCR).


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 Ottawa bears a highly-stylized “O” symbol in white, touching the centres of the upper and lower edges of the flag at their midpoints, and dividing the field into blue at the hoist and green (nearly an aquamarine) within the “O” and at the fly. The “O” has three “streamers” emanating upward from the left side, with pointed ends; its central circle is two-thirds the height of the flag.
Doreen Braverman, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Symbolism

The stylized “O” logo (for “Ottawa”) represents the vibrancy and forward movement of the new amalgamated city. It also acknowledges Ottawa’s status as the nation’s capital with its three streamers forming a subtle and abstract suggestion of a maple leaf and a hint of local architecture, especially the Parliament Buildings. The streamers also symbolize hope, harmony, and working together toward a common goal. Green and blue are the colours of Ottawa. The flag was designed to reflect the landscape of the city. The green speaks of Ottawa’s quality of life and the city’s abundant green spaces. The blue symbolizes the rivers and waterways that are part of life in the Ottawa area.
Doreen Braverman, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Selection

The flag was developed following extensive public consultation of over 1,000 people of all ages from all corners of Ottawa-Carleton. The Visual Identity Advisory Committee of the Ottawa Transition Board worked with the Canadian Heraldic Authority.
Doreen Braverman, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Designer

Unknown. The concept was created by a commercial design firm, which also created a coat of arms with the advice of the Canadian Heraldic Authority, but that was rejected in favour of the arms of the former city of Ottawa.
Doreen Braverman, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

More about the flag

The new flag was first flown on 24 January 2001 after the amalgamation of twelve communities: cities of Cumberland, Gloucester, Kanata, Nepean, Ottawa, Vanier, towns of Goulbourn, Osgoode, Rideau, and West Carleton, village of Rockland Park, and Region of Ottawa-Carleton. The dynamic use of colour is supposed to reflect how the citizens of Ottawa regard their city. The stylized “O” is the logo that most frequently identifies the city.

From the Ottawa a href="http://www.ottawa.ca/city_hall/visual_id/flag_en.html">visual image page on the flag:

Flag

The stylized O design is the centre-piece of the new flag. The look is simple, but festive. When it is flying, the feeling of vibrant motion is very apparent.

The flag's design uses the blue and green colours chosen to represent the new city. The dynamic use of colour is a direct reflection of how the citizens feel about their city. The large blue is symbolic of the rivers and waterways that are a part of life in the Ottawa area. The large green areas speak to our quality of life and the abundance of green space in the region.

Flag Usage

All departments, Council, committees, boards and commissions may use the flag authorized by Council. Flags will also be available for use by the public.

The standard size for the flag is 183 cm wide by 91 cm tall. It may be reproduced at a smaller or larger size but the proportions of 1:2 must never be altered.

The coat of arms of Ottawa is described as follows:

On October 20, 1954, the Right Honourable Vincent Massey, C.H., Governor General of Canada, presented to Ottawa City Council the Arms of Ottawa, issued under grant of the Kings of Arms.

The Coat of Arms is a distinguished and official symbol with an elevated status that is set apart from the Wordmark and other marketing and communication tools. As a heraldic device, it is intended for ceremonial application only. Its use will be restricted to key applications and may include the following examples: Mayor's ceremonial stationery; Mayor's chain of office; selected proclamations; seals; certificates and invitations; selected souvenirs; and, executive gifts. The Coat of Arms is granted under the authority of the Governor General as the Head of the Canadian Heraldic Authority. Under no circumstances will it be altered without approval of Council. Should any organizations or groups wish to use the Coat of Arms, prior approval must be sought by making application to the Director of Client Services and Public Information or his/her designate. Approval must be provided by City Council.

TThe logotype, indeed the wordmark, of Ottawa, is described as follows

The foundation of the new look is the Ottawa Wordmark. It will be used frequently: on outdoor signs, vehicles, advertising and printed materials, uniforms and souvenirs, and will be the most commonly used visual element by the City of Ottawa.

The focal point of the logo is a stylized O formed by three streamers which come together, symbolizing unity and harmony and working together towards a common goal. It suggests energy and motion, reflecting the vibrancy of our city as well as its economic and business strengths - a city that's innovative and on the leading edge./p>

The shape of the streamers is reminiscent of a maple leaf and a hint of local architecture, while the colours blue and green - most frequently chosen by the public - remind us of the parks, green space and waterways that surround us.

The Wordmark will be the main identification tool used by the City of Ottawa. It will be the most commonly used visual element by the City of Ottawa and most visible to the community. Its main objectives are to: clearly identify the programs, services and facilities provided through municipal tax dollars, and present a unified image to the public. This includes and is not limited to the following: all stationery and forms; all publications; newspaper advertisements; facility and other asset signs; staff identification/uniforms; souvenirs; vehicles; and, electronic usages.

The section on the a href="http://www.ottawa.ca/city_hall/visual_id/policy_en.html">city policy on usage of the symbols states that the symbols of Ottawa were adopted by the City Council on 24 January 2001.
Ivan Sache, 26 February 2007


Former flags of Ottawa

1901-1987 flag
[Ottowa flag 1901-1987] image by Peter Orenski and Eugene Ipavec, 18 November 2012
based on research and information provided by James Croft and Kevin Harrington, Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18

1987-2000 flag
[Ottowa flag 1987-2000] image by Peter Orenski and Eugene Ipavec, 18 November 2012
based on research and information provided by James Croft and Kevin Harrington, Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18

Coat of Arms detail

[Ottowa flag] image by Peter Orenski, 18 November 2012
based on research and information provided by James Croft and Kevin Harrington

The City of Ottawa flew a different flag, a tricolour of (from the hoist to the fly) royal purple, red and blue. Royal purple was put in because Queen Victoria made Ottawa the capital, while red and blue were the colours of the Liberal and Conservative parties at the time the flag was adopted, in 1901. In 1987 the whole Ottawa arms was put on the middle red panel.
Source: Jaques Cyr: "Flags in the Ottawa Valley", Flagscan, Vol. 8, No. 2, 1993, pp. 11-16
Jan Oskar Engene, 10 August 1996

National Capital Commission

[National Capital Commission] image by Eugene Ipavec, 28 August 2010

The National Capital Commission - see http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/bins/ncc_web_content_page.asp?cid=16296&lang=1 - is the organization that looks after all the federal government properties in the Ottawa area.