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Last modified: 2003-08-16 by phil nelson
Keywords: quebec | montreal | cross | fleur de lys | lily | rose | thistle | clover |
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Communauté Urbaine de Montréal

[Urban Community of Montreal (Quebec - Canada)]
by Luc-Vartan Baronian

This is a paramunicipal organization that gathers the mayors of Montreal island, Dorval island, and Bizard island. The Communaute urbaine de Montreal has the same territory as the administrative region of Montreal.

It's your regular building site flag, though with a nice logo.

The logo represents the integration of the cities of those three islands.
Luc-Vartan Baronian - 20 June 1997

As I was taking a walk with my girlfriend on l'ile de la Visitation, on riviere des Prairies, between Montreal and Jesus islands, we stopped in a little info center owned by the Communaute urbaine de Montreal. While there, I looked up to the ceiling and... there they were! 23 flags of the 29 municipalities of the Communaute urbaine de Montreal, plus the Communaute urbaine de Montreal's flag !!! One of the absent flags was, beleive it or not... Montreal! Another missing was Senneville, which we now know from a Flagscan issue. Also missing: Westmount, Kirkland, Roxboro, Montreal-Ouest, Mont-Royal, Ile-Dorval. Two of these were there, I guess, because there were two flags I wasn't able to identify (it is sometimes useful to have inscriptions of flags!). I suspect Westmount doesn't have a flag, I passed in front of their city hall last month and there was only the Canadian and Quebec flags. Also an anniversary flag of the city and the library. I also suspect L'Ile Dorval not to have a flag, because it only has a population of six (there actually are more people, but they are not residents, they only have their country house there).

One strange thing: Saint-Leonard's flag was not the one I usually see (almost every day) with the logo, but a white flag with the arms. Someone also reported to me that the flag of Mont-Royal has the arms on a white field, but wasn't sure about inscriptions.

I hope to go back soon and take pictures and notes because there is currently a project of merging the 29 cities of the island... down to three.
Luc-Vartan Baronian - 12 April 1999


[City of Montreal (Quebec - Canada)]
by Luc-Vartan Baronian

Montreal's flag is a banner of the shield ; the lys, the rose, the shamrock (trefoil) and the thistle represent respextively the French, the English, the Irish and the Scots of Montreal. The cross is emblematic of the Christian motives and principles which governed the founders of the city. There is no evidence that it represents St George, see the official site :
(You can click on *English* if you don't read French, but a few pictures are missing in English).
Luc-Vartan Baronian - 20 June 1997

Probably the cross does represent St.George, derived from England flag.
Sebastia Herreros - February 1997

That's what I'm not sure of... You see Montreal's first Arms were White with a red X-cross (St-Patrick style) In each quarter a flower : the red rose for the English, the thistle for the Scots, the shamrock for the Irish. Exception the lowest one with a beaver for the French.

The arms were changed for a "St-George's cross" and the beaver replaced by a fleur de lys in the FIRST canton, to give the French their rightfull place they said...

The flag is based on the new arms.

It would surprise me that at the same time, one would bring the French element to a dominating place and replace the cross for St-George's... unless St-George is also Montreal's saint...

And also the fact that I've never read that it was St-George's cross in a description reinforces my view.
Luc-Vartan Baronian - February 1997

In the quaterly "Heraldry in Canada" vol.XV, No.2, June 1981, published by The Heraldry Society of Canada, p.28, in an article about the new logo is this description:

"The arms that the city has used for a century and a half are adoptive, but at least the shield is good heraldry, bearing the Cross of St. George and having the heraldic symbols of the four founding races, the French, English, Scottish and Irish, beautifully and simply displayed."
Sebastian Herreros - 14 February 1997

Well, I don't know...

First, the description given is confusing because there is at least one mistake :

The first arms were created in 1833 by Montreal's first mayor, Jacques Viger (a century and a half ago...). These arms had the red X on white.

In a newspaper article I have, they describe this as the Cross of St Andrew (not St Patrick).

The (only) modification occured in 1938 (as I roughly described above).

So if it is in fact the Cross of St George, it hasn't been in use for a century and a half ago, only for 43 years at the time the article was written.

Of course, one mistake doesn't imply that the whole description is incorrect. In fact, the rest is ok and it probably IS the cross of St George, but...
Luc-Vartan Baronian - 14 February 1998

Here is the official details . . .

The flag of the Town of Montreal was raised for the first time in May 1939. It takes again the principal heraldic symbols of the armorial bearings: the heraldic cross of mouths on white zone and to the districts, four emblematic flowers. The proportions of the flag are two lengths over a width.

These Emblems in the flag:

The flower of lily of the royal house of Bourbon. This emblem represents with the first canton of the French element which was the first to take took possession of Montreal.

The rose of the house of Lancaster. This one is placed with the second canton and it symbolizes the English settlers from England.

The thistle. This emblem represents, with the third canton, the Scottish origin of the population.

The clover of Ireland. To the fourth canton, the clover recalls the presence of the Irish origin of the population.
Robert Alfers - 26 January 1999

According to Fraser the new Montreal flag was introduced in May 1939 to mark the visit of King George VI. Perhaps this explains the St George's cross.
David Prothero, 4 August 2001

Coat of Arms

[Coat of arms - Montreal, Quebec]
by Robert Alfers


Argent, a cross gules, quartered of the first a fleur de lys azure; of the second a rose gules, stemmed, foliated and pointed vert; of the third a thistle of the same, flory purple; of the fourth, a trefoil of vert. Timbré a beaver couchant on a branch natural. The shield surrounded by a spray of maple leaves vert.

The device on the scroll - The motto "CONCORDIA SALUS", salvation through harmony, is inscribed on the scroll below the crest. This arrangement is also the same as on the Province of Québec arms.

The maple leaves - Montréal's coat of arms, like that of Québec, is surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves. They are the leaves of the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and they symbolize the amicable relations between the various elements of the city's population.

The beaver - Mounted over the shield is a beaver representing the industriousness of Montrealers who have worked to develop our city.

Ivan Sache, 8 November 2002