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First off,  I all of a sudden feel like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory , Fun With Flags show, now that scares me a bit. I have had so many people ask why boats fly the Ontario flag. If you are one of those who think this, it’s a fair thought, but it’s not the Ontario flag. Vintage boats like to fly the flag of the boats year. Hence boats built after 1965 would fly the Canadian flag as we know it today. Boats from 1923 to 1964 fly the second generation Red Ensign, From 1868 to 1922 boats fly the first generation red ensign. And if you have a boat pre 1868 you may be flying the Union Jack.

The provincial flag of Ontario, Canada. It is a defaced Red Ensign, with the Royal Union Flag in the canton and the Ontario shield of arms in the fly. The flag was introduced in 1965 in the wake of lengthy debates on changing the Canadian Red Ensign with a unique Canadian flag.
The Canadian Blue Ensign is similar to the Red Ensign. The flag was used as the jack of the Royal Canadian Navy from its inception until the adoption of the Maple Leaf flag in 1965.

The Red Ensign was used by Canadians both on land and at sea beginning as early as 1868 soon after Confederation. As Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald promoted it throughout Canada. In 1892, it was authorized by Admiralty Warrant for use on ships registered in Canada and this was enshrined in the Canada Shipping Act of 1934, yet the flag had no legal status on land (Canada's "official" flag was the Royal Union Flag until 1946).

The Red Ensign is hard to find, many fly the Ontario flag as you can buy it anywhere. you can get a very nice red ensign online here(Dominion Regalia)  I have ordered many as I have lost a stern pole or two.  

So pick your flag for the year of your boat that is not the Ontario Flag and fly it with a smile.


Chris Bullen



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