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History of Acadia

Flag of Acadia

The flag of Acadia was adopted on August 15, 1884, at the Second Acadian National Convention held in Miscouche, Prince Edward Island by nearly 5, 000 Acadian delegates from across the Maritimes.

The Acadians are a French-speaking people who live in the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and on the Magdalen Islands of Quebec and in northern Maine. The northern region of New Brunswick is now commonly called Acadia.

It was designed by Father Marcel-Francois Richard, a priest from Saint-Louis-de-Kent, New Brunswick. The Musée acadien at the Université de Moncton has the original flag presented by Father Richard to the 1884 Convention. It was sewn by Marie Babineau.

According to Perry Biddiscombe,

The Tricolour represents the Motherland of the Acadians. The yellow star, the Stella Maris, is the symbol of Mary, Acadian national symbol and patron of the mariners. It is set on the blue stripe, because blue is the colour of Mary. The yellow colour of the star represents the Papacy. 1

Father Richard selected the French flag as the basis of the Acadian one to underline the adherence of the Acadians to the French civilization: "I wish that Acadia has a flag reminding not only that its children are French, but also that they are Acadians".

Father Richard saw the star in the blue band as "the distinctive emblem of our Acadian nationality", representing the star of the Blessed Virgin of the Assumption, patron of the Acadians. The star also represented the starfish that guides the sailor "through storms and reefs". 2

The gold colour of the star was chosen by Father Richard because it is the colour of the Pope, in order to show both the adherence of the Acadians to the Roman Catholic Church and the role of the Church in the history of Acadia.

Sources

1 Perry Biddiscombe: "Le Tricolore et l'étoile; The Origin of the Acadian National Flag", Acadiensis: Journal of the history of the Atlantic region, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1990, pp. 120-147

2 The Cajuns website

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