Several flags flew at Upper Fort Garry between the 1830s and the 1880s.
The Hudson’s Bay Company Union Jack
This flag was flown at Hudson’s Bay Company trading posts, including Upper Fort Garry, starting in 1801 when the Union Jack was modified to reflect the union of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. It was traditionally flown every Sunday.
The Provisional Government Flags
During the nine months of the Resistance in 1869-70, several flags were designed to represent the successive provisional governments. These flags were described by many residents and visitors of Red River, but no images have survived that depict them precisely. Norma Hall, historian, suggests the following designs might fit the descriptions.
In November of 1869, the Minneapolis Tribune described the Métis flag as “three crosses – the centre one large and scarlet coloured, the side ones smaller and gold… [with a] golden fringe” on a “white [back]ground.”
Henry Woodington, a Canadian Volunteer soldier who was taken prisoner in December, described the flag as “made of white Duffle” and featuring “three fleur[s] de luce [lis]… with a shamrock in the centre of the bottom edge.”
Fleurs de lis, or lys, are stylized lilies or lotuses often used to signify French royalty. The shamrock is symbolically connected to Catholic Ireland and Montréal, one-time headquarter city of the French fur trade. They recur in many descriptions of provisional government flags.
The British Flag: Union Jack
According to first hand witnesses, the Union Jack was hoisted over Upper Fort Garry in April, 1870.
The Canadian Dominion Flag: Manitoba
The first flag intended to represent the province was likely an amended version of the Canadian Dominion flag which featured the Union Jack and the crests of Canada’s provinces on a red background.
Several historians have suggested that additional flags were flown at Upper Fort Garry during its heyday including the Hudson’s Bay Company Governor’s Crest, the North West Company flag, the Métis infinity flag, and St. Andrew’s Cross.