Return to Queen’s Best Wishes for VI Flag’s 150th

Letter: ‘Let’s remember a time before Canada…’

Letter To The Editor

…”Let’s remember a time before Canada, when two colonies, and many First Nations, shared the coast.” vancouver_island_relief map

July 30, 2015

Dear Editor,

Along with British Columbia Day’s summertime break comes a history of Empires, European explorations, and First Nation heritage.

More recent symbols also serve to remind us of those early days, when our country earnestly debated it’s roots and identity. As this year began, with Canada in mind, our non-profit society therefore wrote Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, to congratulate the Head of the Commonwealth on recognizing the Canadian flag’s 50th anniversary, and invite interest in a half-forgotten marker from Canada’s past.

A statement from Her Majesty, observing the 150th anniversary of the flag of Vancouver Island would, we wrote, be a welcome recognition of “the coastal values and culture of the time, (the flag) providing a symbol of the Island’s identity and aspirations.”*

Our letter spoke to the Island’s heritage, the values and democratic traditions we share, as well as the hard work that laid the foundation of this country. And our footnote cited the flag’s beginnings,“In 1865 Queen Victoria authorized Crown Colonies to use the Blue Ensign with the badge of the colony emblazoned on the fly … (The Vancouver’s Island) flag has never been retired and can be flown today to proudly mark our history, Identity and legends.” (sic, Glen Alan, April 2011)

And a thoughtful reply came back to us from Buckingham Palace, which we feel compelled to share. That,

…on the occasion of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the flag of Vancouver Island  …Her Majesty sends her best wishes to all concerned for a most successful and enjoyable year marking this significant milestone.”

Over this and future BC Day weekends we hope that British Columbians will then join with us in celebrating our history, the strength and determination of the early European explorers along with the independent spirit and inheritance of our First Nations. Let’s remember a time before Canada, when two colonies, and many First Nations, shared the coast.

And if you have one, just below British Columbia’s flag, with Her Majesty in mind, proudly fly the 150 year old flag of Vancouver’s Island this year.



Laurie Gourlay
President, VICCS

*(see VICCS letter and footnote)

Vancouver Island & Coast Conservation Society, P.O. Box 333, Cedar, B.C., V9X 1W1, <>  <>