Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Acadian Flag

The Flag of Quebec, or Fleurdelisé, is known to most of us, but the Flag of Acadia, pictured above, was a new sight to me on my recent trip. Wikipedia, as usual, gives a good introduction:This blogger was a bit turned off by the French Revolutionary Tricolore, but this explanation more than put him at ease:

    The Tricolour represents the Motherland of the Acadians. The yellow star, the Stella Maris, is the symbol of Mary, Acadian national symbol and patron of the mariners. It is set on the blue stripe, because blue is the colour of Mary. The yellow colour of the star represents the Papacy.

    Father Richard selected the French flag as the basis of the Acadian one to underline the adherence of the Acadians to the French civilization.... Father Richard saw the star in the blue band as "the distinctive emblem of our Acadian nationality", representing the star of the Blessed Virgin of the Assumption, patron of the Acadians. The star also represented the starfish that guides the sailor "through storms and reefs". The gold colour of the star was chosen by Father Richard because it is the colour of the Pope, in order to show both the adherence of the Acadians to the Roman Catholic Church and the role of the Church in the history of Acadia.

    The flag is a good example of an anachronism, and was mis-designed in 1884 by using the then current flag of France. The Acadian flag is based on the French Republic's Tricolore, however, France lost Acadia in 1755, when the French flag was still the Fleur-de-lis of the French Kingdom (the Tricolore was adopted in the French Revolution long after Acadia had become a British possession). The only flags which have flown over Acadia are the Fleur-de-lis, Union Jack, and Canada’s two flags. When Father Richard imagined the "motherland" of France, he was referencing the Kingdom, not the Republic, of France.

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