Skip to content

Canada's Best Municipal Flag Contest

Celebrating Canada’s Icons

While flags are a part of daily life, most people don’t give them a lot of thought. However, the flag can acquire a near-sacred, civic importance, in the absence of other public binding icons.

The Canadian flag is a well respected and well recognized icon despite only being around for less than 60 years. Most people can also pick out their provincial flag—but there is less familiarity with municipal flags. The Municipal World team wants to change that. We love flags and we want to spread the love for municipal flags. That’s why we’ve started the Canada’s Best Municipal Flag Contest.

How it works

Our team has selected 64 municipal flags from across the country. Attempts were made to represent each province and territory equitably. Our team used the good design principles from the North American Vexillological Association as guidance and aired for originality when compiling this initial list.

Each week you can vote for your favourites via an online poll distributed in the (free) Insider. This is a single-elimination, bracket style competition that pits two entrants against each other—the winner advancing to the next round while the loser is dropped from the competition.

The Prize

The glory of being recognized for having the best civic symbol in the nation. The winning municipality will also have their flag on the cover of Municipal World’s November issue.

How should I choose?

According to vexillologists — people who study flags — and the North American Vexillological Association the five principles are:

  • Keep It Simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.
  • Use Meaningful Symbolism. The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.
  • Use 2 or 3 Basic Colors. Limit the number of colors on the flag to three which contrast well and come from the standard color set.
  • No Lettering or Seals. Never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal.
  • Be Distinctive or Be Related. Avoid duplicating other flags but use similarities to show connections.

Civic Pride

A strong municipal flag can bolster civic pride and shape a city’s brand. Chicago, for example, is commonly recognized as having the best city flag in the United States. It has two horizontal blue bars, each of which is a sixth of the entire flag, placed about a sixth away from the top and bottom. Between the blue bars are four six-pointed stars arranged horizontally. The stars from left to right represent Fort Dearborn, the Great Chicago Fire, the World’s Columbian Exposition, and the Century of Progress Exposition.

The white background areas represent the three corners of the city while the top and bottom blue bars represent Lake Michigan and the Chicago River’s North Branch respectively. Chicago’s flag is simple, strong, and instantly recognizable. It is a common sight on not only municipal buildings but businesses and residences.


Flags of the World is one the most comprehensive resource online for municipal flags Canadian Provinces, Territories, Regions and Cities (
The Roman Mars TED Talk presentation on flag design, seen over 6 million times, has inspired hundreds of flag re-design efforts. “Why city flags may be the worst designed thing you’ve never noticed”

The World Atlas argues that while some city flags borrow their designs and colors from national flags, many city flags are completely unique and exhibit different styles and design principles. The Best City Flags – WorldAtlas