New Brunswick — The self-styled picture province celebrated the 50th anniversary of its flag Wednesday. Designed by Robert Pichette and Alan Beddoe, the current flag is an unmistakable symbol of honour, provincial pride and strength. What many New Brunswickers were not taught in school, however, is that in 1965 there were 6 flag designs that were put forth by local nobles/would-be heraldists that were immediately rejected. The Manatee bribed a provincial archives intern into digging up the designs.
Sir Lewis’s first design was a generous mix of the Acadian and German flags, which did not go over well with New Brunswick’s English-speaking decision-makers. Lewis also included the famous New Brunswick lobster to appeal to the palate of those of refined taste, but the public largely viewed a cooked lobster as too victim-like.
Lewis’s second design is a pure call-out to nature, and New Brunswick’s vibrant departments of forestry, fishing and game. However, including a simple “New Brunswick” in the flag was viewed as too obvious and not artistic or subtle enough, despite many sports teams’ penchant for doing the very same thing.
Vietinghoff’s style was simple and to the point. Above, Vietinghoff’s dry humour is depicted, showing the province’s unofficial bird, the mosquito, drinking from the same red blood used in the current flag.
According to the archives, Vietinghoff was scoffed at and may not have known that the mosquito was not the official bird. His revised flag depicts 2 chickadees and a single large potato over a lush green field, undoubtedly drawing inspiration from the rising prominence of the McCain family and the growing market for taters.
Hicks, widely known for his down-to-earth demeanor and habit of saying exactly what’s on everyone’s mind, took a risk by designing a flag that demonstrated the battle between the English and the French. It was promptly dismissed.
Hicks’ final design is similar to New Brunswick’s current flag, but with a bolder statement: Irvings hold the real power in the province. The Irving family is rumoured to have funded Hicks in his ventures into heraldry.