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Whitehorse, Yukon Territory (Canada)

Last modified: 2018-07-05 by rob raeside
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[Whitehorse, Yukon Territory] 1:2 image by Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18


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Whitehorse

Originally a First Nation campsite, Whitehorse was named after the rapids south of the city which were said to resemble the manes of charging white horses.

In 1897, the difficulty of traversing the White Horse Rapids in Miles Canyon led to the creation of a horse-drawn tramway serving those on their way to the Klondike to seek gold. This became known as Canyon City.

White Horse became a major transportation hub and in 1942 was a focal point when the U.S. Army constructed the Alaska Highway. White Horse continued to be a transportation and communication hub afterwards, being incorporated as a city in 1950. In 1953, the capital of the Yukon was transferred from Dawson to White Horse and on March 21, 1957 the name was changed by the Geographic Board of Canada to Whitehorse.

Source http://www.yukoninfo.com/whitehorse/info/whitehorsehistory.htm
http://www.visitwhitehorse.com/home.html
Phil Nelson, 12 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 Whitehorse has a medium blue field with the city seal in the centre, nearly three-fourths the height of the flag. The seal consists of a central disc surrounded by a golden-yellow band, edged on the outside by a ring of white rope with black details, and on the inside by a black ring. On the band appears THE CITY OF over the top, WHITEHORSE around the bottom, and between these at the mid-points 19 on the left and 50 on the right, oriented horizontally, all in black serif letters. The central disc is divided horizontally just below its mid-point by a black line. The resulting panels both depict naturalistic scenes. The upper panel has a landscape of green trees, above them are white mountains against a light blue sky. At the left is an approaching train in white, while on the right is a black auto road with a white centre stripe. The road curves to the left and bears a white car. An airplane in black and golden yellow flies toward the hoist, above the mountains. Surmounting the centre, one-third the diameter of the disc, is a half-disc in black bearing a horse’s head in white with black details, facing right. The lower panel has a lake scene with sky and water in light blue, along the horizon rolling green hills with trees in black, and a black and white paddleboat on the lake steaming toward the fly.
Jim Croft, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Symbolism

The white horse refers to the city’s name. During the Klondike Gold Rush, stampeders going to Dawson City travelled along the Yukon River and would pass by the white-capped rapids near Miles Canyon. The waves reminded them of the manes of galloping white horses. Whitehorse was the final stop for the White Pass & Yukon Route narrow-gauge railway. Built in the early 1900s, it conveyed miners and equipment to the gold fields. The train commemorates the importance the railway had to the economic development of the city. The steam paddleboat reflects the importance of river transportation in the early days of Whitehorse. At one time over 250 steam paddleboats plied the Yukon River between Whitehorse and the gold fields of Dawson and Mayo. The airplane honours the bush pilots who helped open up the North and provided a vital link to the outside world. The auto road represents the famed Alaska Highway, built by the United States Army during World War II to supply troops in Alaska. Today it continues to bring goods and tourists to Whitehorse. The mountains and forests in the background recall the area around the city. Whitehorse incorporated as a city in 1950.
Jim Croft, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Selection

Unknown.
Jim Croft, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Designer

Unknown.
Jim Croft, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011


Coat of Arms

[Whitehorse, Yukon Territory]

Arms
Copper on a fess wavy Azure a paddlewheel steamboat Argent, in base a bar wavy per fess wavy Argent and Azure;

Crest
Issuant from an antique crown Vert a steam locomotive wheel Copper;

Supporters
Dexter a horse, sinister a wolf-raven, both Argent embellished Azure and Vert and standing on a compartment set with mountains, conifers, a highway, and railway tracks proper;

Motto
OUR PEOPLE OUR STRENGTH

Source: Canadian Heraldic Authority


Variant flag

[Whitehorse, Yukon Territory] image by Olivier Touzeau, 17 July 2017

Whitehorse (Yukon), is twinned with the commune of Lancieux, Côtes d’Armor. The flag of Whitehorse used in ceremonies between the two cities in France has its seal off-centered to the hoist.
See: http://www.ouest-france.fr
Olivier Touzeau, 17 July 2017