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Northwest Territories (Canada)

Territoires du Nord-Ouest

Last modified: 2020-12-12 by rob raeside
Keywords: northwest territories | canada |
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[Northern Territories (Canada)] image by Clay Moss, 14 August 2009

ISO 3166-2 Code: CA-NT
MARC Code: ntc

See also:

External Links

Status of the flag


The Flag was adopted by the Council of the Northwest Territories in January 1969.1 The design incorporates the territorial shield on a white centre section with blue sections on each end.

The blue panels represent the NWT lakes and waters. The white centre panel, equal in width to the two blue panels combined, symbolizes the ice and snow of the North. The design was the result of a nation-wide competition submitted to the flag committee of the territorial Council. Robert Bessant of Margaret, Manitoba designed the winning entry.

Also on the same page

The Coat of Arms (or Armorial Bearings) of the NWT was approved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on February 7, 1957.

The coat of arms consists of two gold narwhals guarding a compass rose, symbolic of the magnetic North Pole. The white upper third of the crest represents the polar ice pack and is crossed by a wavy blue line symbolizing the Northwest Passage. The diagonal line separating the red and green segments of the lower portion of the shield reflects the treeline. The green symbolizes the forested areas south of the treeline, while the red represents the tundra to the north. Minerals and fur, the important bases of the northern wealth, are represented by gold billets in the green portion and the mask of the white fox in the red.

Also from the NWT website:

R.S.N.W.T. 1988,c.F-7

S.N.W.T. 1999,c.1
In force March 31, 1999


  1. The flag described in the Schedule is adopted as the flag of the Northwest Territories.
  2. The national flag of Canada and the flag of the Northwest Territories shall always be present in the place where and during the time when the Legislative Assembly is in session.
  3. This Act does not apply in that portion of the Territories described as Nunavut in section 3 of the Nunavut Act. S.N.W.T. 1999,c.1,Sch.B,s.1.

SCHEDULE (Section 1)


The flag is one of the proportions of two by length and one by width and consists of three vertical panels. The panels adjacent to the staff and on the fly are each 1/2 the width of the centre panel and are coloured blue (202-101). The centre panel is coloured white (513-201) and in the centre of the centre panel is the shield of the armorial bearings of the Northwest Territories.

(The numbers in the description represent colours as set out in the Canadian Government Specifications Board Publication, Standard Paint Colors, Part I, 1 GP-12c 1965.)

Phil Nelson, 9 May 2005

1 Ed: An earlier undated anonymous contribution lists the date at 31 January 1969.

I have an official model which shows the shield as occupying two-thirds of flag width in height, by one-half the central panel across (or proportions of 4:3).
Christopher Southworth, 10 May 2005


1) This flag was selected from over 3000 entries in a design competition, and was that of 18-year old Robert Bessant of Margaret, Manitoba (who won a $1,000 prize).

2) The anonymous date given for the flag (31 January 1969) is actually the date upon which it was unveiled to the 38th Session of the Council for the Northwest Territories.

3) The flag was subsequently formally adopted by a Flag Act that received the assent of the Commissioner on 18 February 1971.
Christopher Southworth, 9 July 2007

Original Flag

[Flag unveiling photograph]

Photo caption from Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly

NWT Flag committee presentation of the new flag for the Northwest Territories on January 31, 1969. Left to right: Air Marshal Hugh Campbell, Chief John Tetlichi of Fort McPherson and David H. Searle.

Jan Mertens, 13 September 2005

Commissioner's Flag

The Commissioner of the Northwest Territories was granted flag and badge on 15 June 2006.

Flag blazon: Azure the Badge of Office of the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories proper. Symbolism: The blue flag is similar to the flag used by the Lieutenant-Governors of most of the provinces. As a distinguishing feature, it shows the Badge of Office.

Shown here and here.
Valentin Poposki, 26 April 2009

Team NWT flag

[Team NWT] image located by Dave Fowler, 3 December 2017

Flag of "Team NWT," the sporting organization of the Northwest Territories. It represents the NWT at Arctic Winter Games, Canada Games, North American Indigenous Games, Western Canada Summer Games & Canada 55+​

Dave Fowler, 3 December 2017