The flag has been used since the original Labrador Flag Day in 1974, and it’s gaining recognition as time goes on. Other flags have adopted elements of it, including the Nunatsiavut and Franco-Terre neuvien flag.
The provincial government gave it a little more recognition last year, too, Jordan Brown of the Labrador Heritage Society told TC Media.
“The premier came in and raised the flag on the Labrador border this past summer. It’s getting more recognition and its being more accepted by government now. There was an executive order this summer that provincial government buildings in Labrador are allowed to fly the flag in front as long as there is a pole available.”
Prior to that order the only ones who could get away with flying it were the office of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs and the College of the North Atlantic campuses, Brown said, but now the new hospital in Lab West is flying one instead of a union jack.
The capital city recently raised the Labrador flag outside St. John’s City Hall — with the intention of flying it permanently — in an effort to strengthen the city’s bond with Labrador. Happy Valley-Goose Bay Mayor Jamie Snook made an impression on St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe when he said it would be a good way to bring us all closer together.
“It made me very proud when he made the statement that, ‘You know, the city of St. John’s is the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is our capital as Labradorians, and as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.’”
Michael Martin designed the flag as a symbol of Labrador’s identity in 1973 — a time when the entire province was using the Union Jack as its official flag, the Labrador Heritage Museum says on its website.
“The top white bar represents the snow which colours the culture and lifestyle of Labradorians like no other element,” the website reads. “The bottom blue bar represents the waters of Labrador which serve as the highway and sustainer of the people of Labrador. The centre green bar represents the nurturing land. It is thinner than the other two, as the northern climes of Labrador have short summers.”
Several took the opportunity to celebrate on social media.
“It’s LabradorFlagDay! Wear your colours with pride,” Renee Ryan tweeted with a collage of pictures featuring the flag.
Will Fowler posted a aerial photo of Makkovik Thursday, writing: “Tomorrow is the 43rd anniversary of the Labrador Flag. Labradorians fly it and wear it across the Big Land. Many examples today in Makkovik.”
St. John’s Coun. Jonathan Galgay, who introduced the motion to permanently fly the flag in the capital city, posted an image from inside city hall.
“It’s #Labrador Flag Day. Extremely pleased that the Capital City of St. John’s permanently (flies) the flag outside City Hall,” he wrote.
Jordan Brown of the Labrador Heritage Society posted an image made by flag creator Mike Martin with lyrics from a song his brother Harry Martin wrote.
The flag is being celebrated overseas, too. An account called Hampshire Flag, which has proposed a flag for Hampshire County in England, said they were “Flying the beautiful #Labrador flag to mark Labrador Flag day.”
With files from Evan Careen