In 1964 it looked like New Brunswick was headed towards a
flag debate that would mirror the national flag debate.
The Liberal government of New Brunswick learned that the
opposition was planning to forego debating the Speech from
the Throne and instead bring forward a motion to give New
Brunswick a provincial flag modeled on the Red Ensign.
In what seems today like a paranoid over-reaction it was felt
the Liberals would have to vote against such a motion (why
has not been adequately explained). This, would result in the
anglophones and francophones of the province becoming
With a degree of urgency the premier's administrative
assistant, Robert Pichette, set to work on a design for New
Brunswick's new flag. This he accomplished in two weeks
while the Premier was on holidays.
To Mr. Pichette's credit he avoided being overly innovative.
The national flag debate had been a divisive affair precisely
because the prime minister wanted a completely new flag. Mr.
Pichette instead reached back into New Brunswick's past for
In 1868 a coat of arms had been granted to New Brunswick
by a Royal Warrant of Queen Victoria. The coat of arms paid
tribute to the arms of England and the Duchy of Brunswick in
Germany through the inclusion of a gold lion on a red field.
coming of the Loyalists and later to New Brunswick's
shipbuilding heritage. The technical term for the heraldic ship
is a 'lymphad' and is primarily used in Scottish heraldry. Best
of all a banner version of the arms had been used previously
to represent the New Brunswick Premier at official events.
When the Premier returned from holidays he learned about
the political problem and its ready-made solution. The flag
was announced in the Speech from the Throne and was
offered with "thanks to Queen Victoria of Happy Memory" as
she had authorized the original grant of arms. There was no
opposition voiced and editorials were positive. The flag was
officially adopted by proclamation on February 24, 1965.
A Kisaragi Colour