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Flags of hockey teams

Last modified: 2000-05-24 by phil nelson
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Montreal Canadiens

[Montreal Canadien's flag]
by Luc-Vartan Baronian

The Montreal Canadien's flag is used by fans since 1993, the year of the last Stanley Cup won by the team. It is a "banner of jersey". The colors of the team have been the same since 1909, the club's foundation date. They are derived from the French tricolor, a flag that was then used by French Canadians as representing themselves. (Actually, since 1902, it was in competition with the fleurdelise - the version prior to the current one used officially since 1948 -, this latter flag definitely taking over in the 1920s). In fact, one of the team's nicknames is "Le Tricolore". The CH letters stand for "Canadien Hockey", the official name of the team being "Club de hockey Canadien" since 1916-1917 (it was Club Athletique Canadien before). A rumour wants the H to signify "Habs" in English from "habitant" in French, the nickname that was given to French Canadian peasants at the turn of the century. However, this is just what it is, a rumour. It originated in 1924 when someone told this to Madison Square Garden's owner, Tex Rickard. "Habs" is still the prefered nickname of the team used by Anglo-Montrealers. Other nicknames are "Les Rouges" (The Reds, dominating color) and "La Sainte-Flanelle" (The Holy Flanelle).
Luc-Vartan Baronian, 18 December 1998

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