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Quebec City, Quebec (Canada)

Ville de Québec

Last modified: 2018-07-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: quebec | quebec city | ship | port of quebec |
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[City of Quebec (Quebec - Canada)] 1:2 image by Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18

See also:

Quebec City - Ville de Québec

In 2002, the city was merged with Beauport, Cap-Rouge, Charlesbourg, Lac-St-Charles, L'Ancienne-Lorette, Lauretteville, St-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Ste-Foy, St-Emile, Sillery, Val-Bélair and Vanier. The new city preserves the flag and arms of the former Québec.
Luc Baronian, 6 May 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 Québec has a dark blue field with a notched white border edged in dark blue. In its centre is a stylized three-masted square-rigged 17th-century ship all in golden yellow; pennants fly from all masts, it flies six sails, and details include the bowsprit, rudder, and steering post. The border, whose width is 1/12 the height of the flag, has rectangular “teeth”, seven at the top and bottom and four at the sides, each twice as wide as the notches between them.
Luc Baronian, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Symbolism

The city’s documentation interprets the arms:
Like the city signature and city arms, Québec city’s flag bears a golden ship with all sails full. The ship (the Don de Dieu) recalls the founding of Québec City by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. It also represents the city’s maritime vocation, with its important seaport. The full sails represent the strength and heroism of its population. The inclination of the ship inside the crenulated [toothed] border creates a horizon line on the vertical axis and on the horizontal axis, exploits the already existing design of the ship to its fullest by letting the wind play in its sails. The colours used have the following heraldic meaning: gold on the ship signifies strength, faith, justice, wealth, constancy, and brilliance; silver [white] used for the border symbolizes humility, purity, charity, truth, and victory; azure [blue] in the background represents sovereignty, majesty, serenity, good reputation, knowledge, clarity, and loyalty. This colour is also dominant in the coat of arms and underlines the French origins of the city’s founders. The crenulated border reminds us that Québec is a fortified city and that its founder also came from a fortified city, Brouage, in Saintonge [France].

Luc Baronian, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Selection

Following a suggestion by former mayor Jean Pelletier, the flag, along with a revised version of the assumed arms of 1949, were the first city grant of the Canadian Heraldic Authority, celebrating the 380th anniversary of the city on 20 September 1988 and the city’s nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The flag had been proclaimed on 3 February 1987 and was registered as a trade-mark on 22 July 1987.
Luc Baronian, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Designer

Unknown.
Luc Baronian, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011


Coat of Arms

[Quebec City ship detail] contributed by Luc Baronian

As in the city's arms, the city's flag shows a golden ship, under full sail. This suggest the founding of Québec in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain. It also represents the maritime vocation of Québec, with its very important sea port. The sails filled by the wind symbolise the steadfastness and courage of the population.

The colours used bear the following heraldic meanings: yellow (Or) indicates strength, faith, justice, wealth, constancy and illustriousness; the white (argent) of the border symbolises humility, purity, charity, truth and victory; the blue (azure) of the background represents sovereignty, majesty, serenity, good reputation, knowledge, clarity and loyalty. This last colour also dominates the arms and underscores the French origins of the city's founders.

The crenellated border reminds us that Québec is a fortified city (the only one in North America) and that its founder also came from another fortified city, Brouage in Saintonge.

One should also notice the little man with upraised arms standing at the ship's poop.
Daniel U. Thibault, 14 June 2000


Former flag (1967-1987)

[Former flag of Quebec] image by Luc Baronian

Arms detail
[Former flag of Quebec] contributed by Luc Baronian

The right key symbolizes Quebec as the capital of New France, and the left key as the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. The ship is a reference to Samuel de Champlain's ship, who founded the city in 1608. The mural crown on the arms is a traditional civic administration symbol, but also recalls the fact that Quebec is a fortified city, like Brouage en Saintonge, the city Champlain came from. The maple leaf represents the city's Canadian character, as well as all the ethnicities present. The motto, "Don de Dieu Feray Valoir", is a reference to Champlain's ship, the Don de Dieu. I made this image based on the Canadian Trademark Data. Harrington shows a version with bigger arms proportionately.

References:
Harrington, Kevin. 1988. Quebec city - Flags of a Capital in Flagscan [fsc] no 11, Fall 1988.

Luc Baronian, 6 May 2005


Tricentennial flag

[Proposal for Quebec 1908] image by Jaume Ollé

Official flag hoisted at the tercentennial of Quebec city in 1908 White cross on azure with 5 gold fleur de lys in each quarter.
Luc-Vartan Baronian, 21 March 1997


Port of Quebec City

[Port of Quebec] image by Luc Baronian

Harrington shows an image of this flag and I received one by the mail from the Port Authority in the late 90s. Translated from documentation forwarded by the Port: "Blue and white suggest the Nordic character of the Port of Quebec. The diagonal lines add to the dynamism justifying the Port's activities. The arms on the blue surface are a reference to the past. The current symbol on a white background underscores the contemporary importance of the Port. The arms (normally) are azure, with a golden chevron and a silver ship on a silver sea. The motto is "J'accueille et je veille" (I great and I watch over). Blue represents the sky on the silver sea. These are also the provincial colors. Blue is synonymous with peace and rest. Silver recalls the material values that transit in the Port. Gold in heraldry, by contrast to silver, designates and characterizes spiritual and human values, as well as a sense of welcome, hope and success. The chevron is an honorable piece, attributed to the Port for its ancient existence, its commerce and its organization. The two arms of the chevron shield the ships who sail to the Port. The sail ship is a reference to the one on the city arms, though it is here the "Grande Hermine" of Jacques Cartier, rather than Samuel de Champlain's "Don de Dieu", present on the city arms. The sails symbolize the Port's activities. The arms were designed by Mr. Lucien Godbout."

References:
Harrington, Kevin. 1988. Quebec city - Flags of a Capital in Flagscan [fsc] no 11, Fall 1988.

Luc Baronian, 6 May 2005


Cercle de la Garnison de Québec

[Cercle de la Garnison de Québec] image by Marc Pasquin, 21 December 2015

On a trip to Quebec City, I noticed this flag flying from the top of an old building. After some inquiry, I found the following information.

The Cercle de la Garnison de Québec is a social club established in 1879 and currently the only private club in Quebec City. The membership was originally open solely to military officers (thus its name) but was eventually open to civilians of both genders.

The flag has a blue field with the emblem of the club in white on it. I haven't been able to find an explanation for its elements but it appear to combine the beaver and crown used by the Royal 22e Régiment which man the local Citadel and a coat of arms which, based on its elements, probably comes from the Cercle Universitaire de Québec which merged with it in 1984. If so, it would explain the cross (theology), book (humanities), scales (law) and Asclepius rod (medicine). The maple leaf wreath on the other hand is a fairly common motif in civil heraldry so could be common to both. The letters represent the initials of the club in French (hoist) and English (fly).
Marc Pasquin, 21 December 2015