Seventy-two years of Fleurdelisé

By Taylor McClure, Special to The Record

Jan. 21 marks the day that Quebec officially adopted its own provincial flag. Over 70 years ago, the Fleurdelisé, as it is known, was flown over Quebec Parliament for the first time and has since served as an important symbol of Quebecois identity. In 1998, the government made the decision to designate Jan. 21 as official Flag Day in honour of the Fleurdelisé’ 50th anniversary. To highlight Flag Day and this significant event in our history, the Societé nationale de L’Estrie, in collaboration with the city of Sherbrooke, organized a commemoration ceremony at City Hall Tuesday afternoon. Before the Fleurdelisé was flown over the National Assembly on Jan 21, 1948, it was the Union Jack, the British Flag flying above the building. French Canadians usually flew the blue, white, and red tricolour flag of France. At the turn of the twentieth century, however, there was a strong movement that called for Quebec to have its own flag. For a few years, various designs and proposals were submitted, including the Fleurdelisé. On Sept. 26, 1902, the Fleurdelisé, designed by Father Elphège Filiatrault, was flown over the Saint-Jude Presbytery. This flag consisted of a blue background, based off the Carillon military banner of France, with a white cross and four fleur-de-lis’ pointing towards the center. See full story in the Wednesday, Jan 22 edition of The Record.

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