Flying Monday June 29, 2009

On June 29 1534 Jacques Cartier made the European discovery of Prince Edward Island. I am flying the Prince Edward Island flag today in Vernon Street.

The upper third of the flag features the English heraldic lion which appeared both on the coat of arms of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, for whom the province is named, and on that of King Edward VII. The lower two-thirds show an island on which appear three small oak saplings representing the three counties of PEI (Prince, Queens, and Kings) – under the protection of a great oak tree which represents Great Britain. This symbolism is also reflected in the provincial motto, Parva sub ingenti (the small under the protection of the great).

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent was the fourth son of King George III and the father of Queen Victoria. He served as Colonel of the 7th Royal Fusiliers. The Fusiliers were ordered to Canada in May 1791. In 1799 he was promoted to the rank of general and appointed the commander-in-chief of the forces in British North America. For most of this period he lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was instrumental in shaping that port's military defences for protecting the important Royal Navy base.

Prince Edward Island is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence . The island has two urban areas. The largest surrounds Charlottetown Harbour, situated centrally on the island's southern shore, and consists of the capital city Charlottetown, and suburban towns Cornwall and Stratford and a developing urban fringe. A much smaller urban area surrounds Summerside Harbour, situated on the southern shore 40 km (25 mi) west of Charlottetown Harbour, and consists primarily of the city of Summerside.

Jacques Cartier (December 31, 1491–September 1, 1557) was a French explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France. He was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big settlements he saw at Stadacona (Quebec City) and at Hochelaga (Montreal Island)

Jacques Cartier discovered the island in 1534. As part of the French colony of Acadia, the island was called "Île Saint-Jean". Roughly one thousand Acadians lived on the island. However, many fled to the island from mainland Nova Scotia during the British-ordered expulsion in 1755. Many more were forcibly deported in 1758 when British soldiers were ordered to capture the island.

Great Britain obtained the island from France under the terms of the Treaty of Paris in 1763 which settled the Seven Years' War, calling the colony St. John's Island (also the Island of St. John's).

In September 1864, Prince Edward Island hosted the Charlottetown Conference, which was the first meeting in the process leading to the Articles of Confederation and the creation of Canada in 1867. Prince Edward Island did not find the terms of union favourable and balked at joining in 1867, choosing to remain a colony of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

The Charlottetown Conference

Prince Edward Island later entered Confederation on 1 July 1873. As a result of having hosted the inaugural meeting of Confederation, the Charlottetown Conference, Prince Edward Island presents itself as the "Birthplace of Confederation"

An unofficial Canadian Red Ensign from 1873 after Prince Edward Island joined Canada as the seventh province.

See also my blog of June 13 where I gave some more details of the evolution of the Canadian national flags. http://vernonflag.blogspot.com/2009/06/flying-saturday-june-13-2009.html

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