Sword ~ Emblems ~ Canadian Flag

340xThe Sword is the symbol of God's powerful Word. St. Paul is symbolized as holding a sword in his hand because of the power that came from him as he brought the word of God to the Gentiles.

In the Book of Revelation, it is written, "In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force". (1, 16)

To raise the Sword at the Eucharist is therefore a Profession of Faith that the Word of God is powerful and cuts through us to the heart.

To raise the Sword in honour of people who walk under it is like an anointing, professing our belief that every person is a unique Word of God. This is a solemn declaration of the sacredness of human life.

To raise the Sword in the Fourth Degree is always a symbol of the power of the Word of God.

Raise your Swords in worship!

Raise your Swords in honour of the Lord God who spoke to us!

Raise your Swords from the hospitality of your hearts as living witnesses to the Power the Word of God has in your own life!

Raise your Swords with dignity!

Raise your Swords in Unison!

Raise your Swords with discipline and vigor! Raise your Swords in honour of the Lord God

The History of the Sword

4thdegree_LOGO 25 In 1900, Patriotism is added as the fourth principle of the Order. The 1st Exemplification of the Fourth Degree took place on February 2, 1900 at the Astor Hotel in New York, NY. 1,100 Third Degree members were exemplified. They had to have been members for 3 years.

The 2nd Exemplification of the Fourth Degree took place on May 8th in Boston, Massachusetts. 750 Third Degree members were exemplified. Since that First Exemplification in 1900, there have been three major styles of swords with black grip. The first major type of sword had a Flying Eagle on the pommel (grip cap) and the Emblem of the Order on the Guard. This type of sword was made until at least the early 1930's but, I do not have an exact date. The sword blade was usually 28 inches in length with the overall length in the scabbard being 37 inches.

The second major type of sword dates back to mid to late 1930's and has the head of Christopher Columbus, the Order's patron, on the grip cap. The sword is worn hanging from the Service Baldric on the left hip and Columbus' head is facing forward. If you were looking at the front of the sword, Columbus' head is facing left.

The other change that was made is that the Triad Emblem of the Fourth Degree replaces the Emblem of the Order on the Guard. This type of sword appears to have been made through the late 1940's early 50's. These swords over the years seem to vary in length. The blades ranged between 26 and 27 1/2 inches with the sword grip and pommel adding another 6 inches. When in the scabbard they were between 35 and 27 inches in length. Most, if not all, of this type of sword were made by T.C. Gleason in Chicago Illinois.

The third major type of sword is the one that is still in use today and began to be manufactured sometime in the 1940' or 50's. The most identifying characteristic of this type of sword is the that Columbus' head on the pommel (grip cap) is now facing forward when you look at the front of the sword or facing right when the sword is worn on the service baldric.

Lynch and Kelly, The English Company and Roger Sauvé Inc. are the three primary manufacturers of swords in the Canada and the United States. Also, the guard, while still displaying the Triad Emblem of the Fourth Degree, has varied over the years. There has been more a less detail in the triad as well as varying from a raised emblem to flatter style.

Again over the last 40 years the blade, sword, and total length have varied as with the second type of sword. Finally, the blades have varied in style as well. Sometime the blades are plain and others contain etching on the blade. Usually, the etching says Knights of Columbus on one side.

There are two other types of swords that you may see. Both of them have a white grip. The first is the same metal color as the swords with the black grip. The white grip indicates that the sword belonged to a Faithful Navigator and can be worn by either a current Faithful Navigator or Past Faithful Navigator. Most of these swords are of the etched blade variety and have the words Knights of Columbus etched on one side and the name of the Faithful Navigator on the other side.

I have only seen the white grip swords in the third major type with Columbus facing forward as you look at the front of the sword. Again, I do not have an exact date when they began to be manufactured.

The final type is a white grip sword, but plated in gold. This sword is worn by current and former Masters, Vice-Supreme Masters, and Supreme Masters.

There were many types of societies that carried swords, including Military, Military Association, Fraternal, Religious, Veteran, Social, Benevolent, Occupational, Political, Patriotic, and Nationality.

Fraternal swords are most easily identified by the ornate, yet martially useless nature of their construction. Although this also describes many officers’ swords, the nature of their decoration sets them apart. The pommels, hilts and scabbards are often exquisitely detailed with forms relating to their society, and the blades are often etched for most of their length. The blades are usually straight, always unsharpened.

Some of the more common features of these swords include a cast, decorative pommel (often a knight's head), initials of some sort on the hilt and/or scabbard, the owner's name etched into the blade, and fraternal markings to identify which group the owner belongs to. The swords also are usually etched with the maker's name.

The Knights of Columbus have developed rituals and regalia to go with it. It is here that we find the need for the swords. The purpose of a fraternal sword is that of a chivalric blade, not of a martial one. It is the tradition of the sword and the honour of carrying one that is reflected. It is here that the western sword has a symbolism. If you want a sword that will cut down a tree, look somewhere else. To their owners, these were swords that embodied what it means to live by a code of honour, serve a greater purpose, and fight for a noble cause. It's sad to see them used or displayed for any other purpose.

If a sword belonged to a relative or ancestor, it was often kept it for future generations. My father’s sword means more to me than you could ever imagine. To me it is like a Rosary, an instrument of prayer.

The Templar sword was fashion and struck in the Middle Ages when the Templar's fought in the crusades. the ornate sword we now possess couldn't possibly be authentic as the Templar Rule forbade all ornamentation on weapons.


Regardless of manufacturer, the pommel almost always depicts a knight's head. This does not distinguish the sword as uniquely Templar as other fraternal swords such as the Knight's of Columbus depict a knight's head as well.

The grip on a Templar sword is sometimes black and sometimes ivory. Quite often it will depict the cross and crown emblem of the order as shown in the diagram to the left. Some swords will display a stylized Christian cross while others a triangle and cross. Frequently Templar swords are engraved with the owner's initials on the grip.

Knuckle Guard:
Templar sword knuckle guards typically depict the cross and crown but many of the M. C. Liley and Co. swords show a knight's head as shown in the diagram to the left.

The blade of the Templar sword is particularly ornate and will often depict crusader scenes and lily work. Virtually every Templar sword made in the last century and a half will carry the engraved name of its owner.

A nickel plated sheath indicates the sword belonged to a Sir Knight, while a gold plated one is that of a Preceptor (Canada) or Commander (United States). Like the blade these sheaths are very ornate and the markings will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

The original swords were made by Gleason long before The English Company or Lynch started making them and they were longer. The first pommel was an Eagle with a very plain blade but was longer. The scabbard for these swords displayed the 3rd degree K of C emblem, not that of the 4th degree.

The sword evolved to a shorter version with Christopher Columbus' head facing forward when in the Scabbard and again the use of the 3rd degree insignia. Modern swords feature Christopher Columbus facing towards the side when in the scabbard and the use of the 4th degree emblem. The older swords were all made by Gleason and the new by either Lynch and Kelly or The English Company.

Genuine KofC swords only have the Eagle or Christopher Columbus on the pommel without any chains or hooks on the scabbard. The scabbards will feature 3rd or 4th degree emblems only.

The Knights of Columbus flag combines in its field, red and white colors from the emblem of the Order, yellow from the papal flag and white and green from the expeditionary flag of Columbus.A broad band of yellow and a narrow band of red, in parallel, divide the flag diagonally from lower left to upper right corners.

The triangular upper white field features the green cross of the ensign flown by Christopher Columbus on his voyages of discovery. On the triangular blue lower field is the emblem of the Knights of Columbus.

The flag was first hoisted in June, 1988 and measures 3 feet by 5 feet. Indoor and parade quality varieties use gold fringe, cords and tassels.

The Third Degree Emblem
The Emblem of the order dates from the Second Supreme meeting, May 12, 1883, when it was designed by James T. Mullen, who was then the first Supreme Knight. A quick glance at the emblem indicates a shield mounted upon the cross of Malta.

The shield is that associated with a medieval knight. The CROSS of MALTA is the representation in a traditionally artistic design of the Cross of Christ through which all graces of redemption were procured for mankind. This, then, represents the Catholic spirit of the Order. Mounted on the shield are three objects, a MACE standing vertically, and crossed behind it, an ANCHOR and a DAGGER or short sword. The Mace from Roman days is symbolic of authority which must exit in any tightly-bonded and efficiently operating organization. The Anchor is the mariner's symbol for Columbus, Patron of the Order, while the short sword or Dagger was the weapon of the Knight when engaged upon an errand of mercy. Thus, the shield expresses Catholic Knighthood in organized merciful action with the letters KofC, it proclaims this specific from of activity.

Red is the symbol of Faith, of belief in Christ, in the Redemption and in the mission of every man to spread the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. White is the color of the Eucharistic Host, symbolizing God's presence among men and of the infinite love God has for man. White is then the symbol of Christ-like Charity. Blue is the color of Our Lady's mantle in which she draped her beloved Son, through Whom salvation came to a sinful world. Blue is then the symbol of Hope.

"Degree of Patriotism" The Fourth Degree Emblem 
The Knights of Columbus, an array of dedicated Catholic gentlemen, glory in the epithet: "The right arm of the Catholic Church." Sir Knights of the Fourth Degree deem it an honor and privilege to carry the triad emblem, which features the Dove, Cross, and Globe. Our honored Order cherishes its patron Christopher Columbus. 

Christopher "Christ bearer" Columbus. The Dove of Peace symbolizes the Paraclete. The Cross of Christ is the sign of our Christian faith; similarly, the Globe depicts the New World, the miraculous discovery of Columbus. Spiritually, the sacred symbols fashioned on our sword and lapel pin typify the union of the three divine Persons in one Godhead, the Most Holy Trinity.

The Globe - God the Father, Creator of the Universe
The Cross - God the Son, Redeemer of Mankind
The Dove - God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of Humanity

God willing, may we, Christian Soldiers in the Columbian Crusade, lend loyalty to our honored Order, Patriotism to our beloved Canada, and Devotion the Holy Mother Church, all for the greater glory of God Almighty.


Dignity of the Flag

The National Flag of Canada should be displayed only in a manner befitting this important national symbol; it should not be subjected to indignity or displayed in a position inferior to any other flag or ensign. The National Flag always takes precedence over all other national flags when flown in Canada. The only flags to which precedence is given over the Canadian flag are the personal standards of members of the Royal Family and of Her Majesty's eleven representatives in Canada (ie. The Governor General and 10 Lieutenant Governors).
The National Flag of Canada should always be flown on its own mast - flag protocol dictating that it is improper to fly two or more flags on the same mast (eg. one beneath the other). Further, the following points should be kept in mind:

  • The National Flag of Canada should not be used as table/seat cover, as a masking for boxes or as a barrier on a dais or platform.

  • While it is not technically incorrect to use the National Flag of Canada to cover a statue, monument or plaque for an unveiling ceremony, it is not common practice to do so and should be discouraged.

  • Nothing should be pinned to or sewn on the National Flag of Canada.

  • The National Flag of Canada should not be signed or marked in any way (A border could be attached to the outside edge of the Flag on which it would be acceptable to have signatures leaving the Flag itself untouched).
When the National Flag of Canada is raised or lowered, or when it is carried past in a parade or review, all present should face the flag, men should remove their hats, and all should remain silent. Those in uniform should salute.
Updated April 2003 - changes will be reflected in new edition of Flag Etiquette publication.


Flags are symbols that identify people belonging to a group. The National Flag of Canada and the flags of the provinces and territories are symbols of honour and pride for all Canadians. They should be treated with respect.
The manner in which flags may be displayed in Canada is not governed by any legislation but by established practice. The etiquette outlined in this brochure is an adaptation of international usage and of customs the federal government has been observing for many years.
The rules applied by the federal government are in no way mandatory for individuals or organizations; they may serve as guidelines for all persons who wish to display the Canadian Flag and other flags in Canada.


Early in 1964, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson, informed the House of Commons of the government's desire to adopt a distinctive national flag for Canada. He personally proposed a flag with three red maple leaves between two blue borders. After reviewing the hundreds of designs submitted by experts and other Canadians, the Senate and House of Commons Committee, which had been established by the government to consider the flag proposal, set about classifying the designs.
the Committee, after having eliminated various designs, was left with only three: a Red Ensign with the fleur-de-lys and the Royal Union Flag (Union Jack), the three-leaf design, and a single red maple leaf on a white square on a red flag. The single-leaf design was adopted unanimously by the Committee on October 29, 1964. It was proclaimed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on January 28, 1965, and was inaugurated on February 15, 1965, at an official ceremony held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in the presence of the Governor General, His Excellency General the Right Honourable Georges P. Vanier, the Prime Minister, the members of the Cabinet, and Canadian parliamentarians.
These words, spoken on that momentous day by the Honourable Maurice Bourget, Speaker of the Senate, added deeper meaning to the occasion: "The flag is the symbol of the nation's unity, for it, beyond any doubt, represents all the citizens of Canada without distinction of race, language, belief or opinion."


When describing the details of a flag, it is assumed that the flag is flying from a staff with the flag flying towards the right as seen by the observer. (Figure 1)
The canton in the National Flag of Canada is not apparent, but shows very clearly in the Canadian Forces Ensign.
Figure 2 - the Canadian Forces Ensign

The place of honour in a flag is the upper half of the hoist. It is also called the First Quarter and sometimes the Upper Hoist.

Flagpole or staff
A cylindrical piece of wood or metal to which a flag is attached or from which it is hoisted.

The half of a flag farthest from the halyard; also a synonym for length.

The decorative ornament on the top of a pike, staff or pole. May be in the form of a spear point, ball, maple leaf, crown, etc.

Fourth Quarter
The lower half of the fly.

The rope which raises or lowers a flag.

The half of a flag nearest to the halyard; also a synonym for width.

Grooved wheel for the halyard to pass over, which permits the raising and lowering of a flag.

Running eye and toggle
A method of hoisting a flag by means of a rope sewn into its heading, which has a wooden toggle at the top and a loop at the bottom that fasten to their opposites at the end of the halyard.

Second Quarter
The upper half of the fly

A tube of material along the hoist of a flag through which the staff or halyard is inserted.

Third Quarter
The lower half of the hoist; it is also called the Lower Hoist.

Description and Dimensions of the National Flag

Technical description
The National Flag of Canada is a red flag of the proportions two by length and one by width (or 64 units in length and 32 units in width or depth as shown in the accompanying diagram), containing in its centre a white square the width of the flag, with a single red maple leaf centered therein.
The colours red and white are the same as those that were used in the Canada Red ensign and are found in the Union Jack. Red and white are Canada's official colours and, with the maple leaf, are the symbolic elements found in the Canadian flag.
The printing ink colour is FIP red: General Printing Ink, No. 0-712; Inmont Canada Ltd., No. 4T51577; Monarch Inks, No. 62539/0; or Sinclair and Valentine, No. RL163929/0.
The painting colours are FIP red No. 509-211 and white: 513-201
Heraldic description
The heraldic description is: gules (red) on a Canadian pale argent (white) a maple leaf of the first.


In the general sense, flagpoles may be divided into three categories: exterior permanent poles (located on buildings or on the adjacent grounds); exterior portable poles; and interior poles.
The exterior poles should be fitted with a hoisting device such as a halyard and pulley arrangement to allow for the flags to be easily changed and half-masted as required.
Flag size and pole length for building poles should correspond to the following dimensions:
3 X 6 feet17 to 20 feet
0.90 X 1.80 metres5.10 to 6 metres
4 1/2 X 9 feet30 to 35 feet
1.40 X 2.80 metres9 to 10.50 metres
6 X 12 feet40 to 45 feet
1.80 X 3.60 metres12 to 13.50 metres
7 1/2 X 15 feet50 feet
2.30 X 4.60 metres15 metres
Flag size and pole length for building poles
On occasion, the simple flagpole is fitted with a yardarm or gaff to increase the number of flags that may be flown from it. This practice is in imitation of a ship's mast and is normally found at naval establishments ashore. Care should be taken to ensure proper flag etiquette is followed when this type of pole is employed.

Displaying the Flag

The National Flag is flown at all federal government buildings, airports, and military bases and establishments within and outside Canada. The flag may be flown by night as well as by day.
The National Flag of Canada may be displayed as follows:
Flat against a surface, horizontally and vertically
If hung horizontally, the upper part of the leaf should be up and the stem down. If hung vertically, the flag should be placed so that the upper part of the leaf points to the left and the stem to the right from the point of view of the observer facing the flag. Flags hung vertically should be hung so that the canton is in the upper left corner.
On a flagpole or mast
The top left (first) quarter or canton should be placed in the position nearest the top of the flagpole or mast. When carried, the guidelines listed under "Dignity of the Flag" should be respected.
On a flag rope (halyard)
The canton should be placed uppermost, raised as closely as possible to the top with the flag rope tight.
Suspended vertically in the middle of a street
The upper part of the leaf should face the north in an east-west street, and face east in a north-south street, thus being on the left of the observer facing east or south respectively.
Projected from a building
Displayed horizontally or at an angle from a window or balcony, the canton must point outward.
Affixed on a motor vehicle
The flag must be on a pole firmly fixed to the chassis on the front right.
Sharing the same base - Three flags
When only three flags are displayed, the National Flag should be at the centre. To an observer facing the display, the second-ranking flag (in order of precedence) is placed to the left of centre, and the other to the right.
A common combination of flags is that of the National Flag of Canada with a provincial or territorial flag, and a municipal flag or an organization's banner. In such a case, the National Flag should be in the center with the provincial/territorial flag to the left and the municipal flag/organization's banner to the right (to an observer facing the display).
When used to cover a casket at funerals
The canton should be draped over the upper left corner of the casket. The flag should be removed before the casket is lowered into the grave or, at a crematorium, after the service. The flag size for a standard adult-sized casket should be 4 1/2 X 9 feet/ 1.40 X 2.80m.
Position of honour
Due consideration should be given to flag etiquette and precedence whenever the National Flag of Canada or other sovereign national flags or provincial/territorial flags are displayed.
The location of the position of honour depends on the number of flags flown and the chosen configuration. When two flags (or more than three flags) are displayed, the position of honour is furthest to the left (to an observer facing the display). When three flags are flown, the position of honour is in the center (see "Sharing the same base - Three flags")
The order of precedence for flags is:

  1. The National Flag of Canada[1]

  2. The flags of other sovereign nations in alphabetical order (if applicable)[2]

  3. The flags of the provinces of Canada (in the order in which they joined Confederation)

  4. The flags of the territories of Canada (in the order in which they joined Confederation)

  5. The flags of municipalities/cities

  6. Banners of organizations

  7. Historical Flags[3]
If one simply wishes to create a decorative effect (eg. dressing a house for a festive occasion) it is preferable to use pennants or coloured buntings and not flags.
When the National Flag of Canada is flown alone on top of or in front of a building where there are two flagpoles, it should be flown on the flagpole to the left to an observer facing the flag.
When the National Flag of Canada is flown alone on top of or in front of a building where there are more than two flagpoles, it should be flown as near as possible to the centre.
When the National Flag of Canada is displayed in a place of worship or on a speaker's platform, it should be against the wall, or on a flagpole on the left from the point of view of the congregation audience facing the celebrant or speaker.
When used in the body of a place of worship or auditorium, the National Flag of Canada should be to the right of the congregation or spectators facing the flag.
With flags of other sovereign nations[4]
The National Flag of Canada, when flown or paraded, takes precedence over all other national flags. When flown with the flags of other sovereign nations, all flags should be flown on separate flagpoles/masts and at the same height, all being of the same size, with the National Flag of Canada occupying the position of honour.
The National Flag should be raised first and lowered last, unless the number of flags permits their being raised and lowered simultaneously.
With the flag of one other nation, the National Flag of Canada should be on the left of the observer facing the flags; both should be at the same height.
When crossed with a flag of another sovereign nation, the National Flag of Canada should be on the left of the observer facing the flags; the flagpole bearing the National Flag of Canada should be in front of the pole of the other flag.
In a line of three flags, the National Flag of Canada should be in the centre. The other two flags should, in alphabetical order, be placed to the left and right of the National Flag respectively, from the point of view of the observer facing the three flagpoles/masts.

When there are more than three flagpoles/masts, the National Flag of Canada should be flown on the left of the observer facing the flags, followed by the flags representing the other sovereign nations ordered alphabetically. An additional National Flag of Canada may also be flown on the right at the end of the line.
In a semi-circle of flags representing a number of sovereign nations, the National Flag of Canada should be in the centre.
In an enclosed circle of flags representing a number of sovereign nations, the National Flag of Canada should be flown on the flagpole/mast immediately opposite the main entrance to a building or arena.
With a combination of flags of sovereign nations, provinces/territories, international organizations, cities, companies, etc.
In keeping with previously outlined practice, the National Flag of Canada, when flown with different types of flags, should be flown on the left of an observer facing the flags. The position of the other flags is determined by order of precedence.
When displayed with a flag of another sovereign nation, a provincial/territorial flag, a company/association flag or club pennants on a flagpole fitted with a yardarm or a gaff, the National Flag of Canada is positioned as follows.
With flags of the Canadian provinces and territories
When provincial and territorial flags are flown with the National Flag of Canada, the order is based on the date of entry into Confederation of the provinces followed by the territories. In a grouping of flags that includes the National Flag of Canada and all of the flags of the provinces and territories, the order of precedence is:

  1. National Flag of Canada

  2. Ontario (1867)

  3. Quebec (1867)

  4. Nova Scotia (1867)

  5. New Brunswick (1867)

  6. Manitoba (1870)

  7. British Columbia (1871)

  8. Prince Edward Island (1873)

  9. Saskatchewan (1905)

  10. Alberta (1905)

  11. Newfoundland (1949)

  12. Northwest Territories (1870)

  13. Yukon (1898)

  14. Nunavut (1999)
When there are more than three flagpoles/masts, the National Flag of Canada should be flown on the left of the observer facing the flags, followed by the flags of the provinces and territories. An additional National Flag of Canada may be displayed at the end of the line if desired.
Display along a wall
Display flanking an entrance
"V" display for visual effect
Carried in a procession
If carried with other flags, in a single file, the National Flag of Canada should always lead.
If carried in line abreast, it is preferable to have the National Flag of Canada at each end of the line.
If only one National Flag of Canada is available, it should be placed in the centre of the line of flags carried abreast.
When the number of flags is even and the National Flag of Canada cannot be carried in the centre (of a line of flags abreast), it should be carried on the right-hand end of the line facing the direction of movement.
Note: It is suggested that the pole or pike used to carry flags be 7 or 8 feet/ 2.10 to 2.40m in length.
Flown on ships and boats
The National Flag of Canada is the proper national colours for all Canadian ships and boats, including pleasure craft. The Canadian Shipping Act states that a Canadian ship shall hoist the flag on a signal being made to her by one of Her Majesty's Canadian ships, or any ship in the service of and belonging to the Government of Canada; on entering or leaving any foreign port; and if of 50 tonnes gross tonnage or upwards, on entering or leaving any Commonwealth port.
Foreign vessels may fly the Canadian flag as a "courtesy flag" when they are berthed in a Canadian port. The flag then is customarily flown from the foremast.
General rules governing merchant vessels and pleasure craft are as follow:

  • the flag should be worn in harbour and in territorial waters but need not be worn while under way on the high seas unless the vessel wishes to identify her nationality to another ship;

  • whenever possible, the proper place for a vessel to display the national colours is at the stern, except that when at sea, the flag may be flown from a gaff;

  • when in harbour the flag should be hoisted at 0800 hours and lowered at sunset;

  • when a merchant ship and a warship of any nationality pass or overtake one another, the merchant ship should dip the flag as a gesture of courtesy. If on a staff, the lowest corner of the flag should be brought to the level of the rail and kept there until the salutation is acknowledged by the naval vessel. If flown from a gaff, the flag should be lowered to six feet (1.80m) above the level of the deck, until the salute is acknowledged;

  • in times of mourning, the flag may be flown at half-mast, which places the upper corner of the flag next to the staff at approximately three-quarters of full-hoist. As on land, a flag hoisted to or lowered from half-mast position must first be hauled close-up.

Half-masting for Mourning

Flags are flown at the half-mast position as a sign of mourning.
The flag is brought to the half-mast position by first raising it to the top of the mast then immediately lowering it slowly to the half-mast position.
The position of the flag when flying at half-mast will depend on the size of the flag and the length of the flagstaff. It must be lowered at least to a position recognizably "half-mast" to avoid the appearance of a flag which has accidentally fallen away from the top of the mast owing to a loose flag rope. A satisfactory position for half-masting is to place the centre of the flag exactly half-way down the staff (Figure 23).
On occasions requiring that one flag be flown at half-mast, all flags flown together should also be flown at half-mast. Flags will only be half-masted on those flagpoles fitted with halyards and pulleys. Some buildings fly flags from horizontal or angled poles, without halyards, to which flags are permanently attached. Flags on these will not be half-masted.

Disposal of Flags

When a flag becomes tattered and is no longer in a suitable condition for use, it should be destroyed in a dignified way.


  • [1] Her Majesty's Personal Canadian Flag, the standards of members of the Royal Family as well as the standard of the Governor General and the standard of the Lieutenant Governor (in his/her province of jurisdiction and when assuming the duties of the representative of The Queen) take precedence over the National Flag of Canada on the buildings where these dignitaries are in residence or where they are attending a function.

  • [2] There are exceptions when flying the Union Jack as outlined under the chapter entitled "The Royal Union Flag".

  • [3]For rules on flying historical flags along with the National Flag of Canada, consult the Historical Flag Policy and Rules for Flying Historical Flags in Canada for more information.

  • [4] The flag configurations shown in figures 11 to 16 also apply when the National Flag of Canada is flown with one or more provincial/territorial flag.