5 Flags, One Town: A Snapshot of Amherstburg’s History
Stroll past Amherstburg’s town square and you’ll notice a row of five flags, each representing Amherstburg’s rich and vibrant history.
The white flag represents our French period up until 1763. It has ancient symbolism for the French, and Les Marines, or navy, flew the white flag. This seemed to be the customary flag flown in New France with the royal standards rarely flown.
The two ‘Jacks’ were flown in Canada from 1763 to 1965. The first is the union flag of England and Scotland where the red cross of England and the white cross of St. Andrew are displayed. This flag flew from 1763 to 1801. In 1801, Ireland joined the union of the United Kingdom, and the red cross of St. Patrick was added over the white cross of St. Andrew. This is the Union Jack we know today and was flown in Canada officially until our formal flag was introduced in 1965.
The old American flag features 15 stars for each of the country’s 15 states in 1815, and was flown during the War of 1812 when U.S. forces occupied Amherstburg and the surrounding area. This flag flew until the end of the war on July 1, 1815.
In 1965 Canada adopted our own Canadian flag which depicts the iconic red Maple Leaf. The first words spoken by the Honourable Maurice Bourget, Speaker of the Senate, the day it was raised were: “The flag is the symbol of the nations’ unity, of it, beyond any doubt, represents all the citizens of Canada without distinction of race, language, belief or opinion.”