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Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada)

Last modified: 2016-08-05 by rob raeside
Keywords: saskatchewan | saskatoon | saskatoon berries | book |
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Saskatoon (Saskatchewan - Canada) image by Arnaud Leroy, 4 December 2005
Source: City hall

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About Saskatoon

In 1882, the Toronto-based Temperance Colonization Society was granted 21 sections of land straddling the South Saskatchewan River, between what is now Warman and Dundurn. The aim of the group was to escape the liquor trade in that city and set up a "dry" community in the Prairie region. The following year settlers, led by John Neilson Lake, arrived on the site of what is now Saskatoon and established the first permanent settlement. The settlers travelled by railway from Ontario to Moose Jaw and then completed the final leg via horse-drawn cart as the railway had yet to be completed to Saskatoon.

In 1885 the Northwest Rebellion affected the tiny community in a variety of ways. Chief Whitecap and Charles Trottier passed through the present day University campus on their way to join Louis Riel's armed forces at Batoche, Saskatchewan. Following the fighting at the Battle of Fish Creek, and the Battle of Batoche, wounded Canadian soldiers convalesced at the Marr Residence which is today a historic site. A few died in care and were buried in the Pioneer Cemetery near the Exhibition Grounds.

A town charter for the west side of the river was obtained in 1903 (Nutana became a village in that year). On May 26th 1906 Saskatoon became a city with a population of 4,500, which included the communities of Saskatoon, Riversdale and Nutana. In 1955 Montgomery Place and in 1956 the neighboring town of Sutherland were annexed by the fast-growing City of Saskatoon.
Neal Wilson, 9 July 2016

Description of the flag

The berries on the hoist end are saskatoon berries, from which the city gets its name. Plentiful throughout the praries (well, I can assume, I've picked them myself in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba), they were also well-known to the First Nations peoples as well.
David Kendall, 4 December 2005

History of Flag Design

It was decided that a city flag should be developed for the city’s 70th anniversary in 1976. In 1976, city officials did not know that a city flag design already existed. Mayor E. J. Cole was informed by a citizen that in 1952 an original design had been created by Dick Whitehead and approved by council. It was brought to the forefront by City bus painter Henry Mirtle when he made a painting of the flag on a piece of wallboard and hung it on display at the transit garage and it had been hanging there for seven years.

The flag embodies the city crest centered in a white circle. A spray of Saskatoon berries on a background of sold green are to the left with seven golden bars to the right. Each bar represents on of the city’s districts.
1) North Park
2) City Park
3) Pleasant Hill
4) Mayfair
5) Caswell Hill
6) City Center
7) Nutana

Neal Wilson, 9 July 2016

City Coat of Arms

Saskatoon (Saskatchewan - Canada)

During the year 1948, the question of the City’s Coat of Arms was brought to the attention of the City Council. It was pointed out that the design which had been in use since being adopted by Council on January 30, 1913 was incapable of being described in proper heraldic language and therefore could not be formally adopted by bylaw. It was considered advisable that the City’s Coat of Arms be properly adopted and approved and Professor A.L.C. Atkinson was requested to design a new Coat of Arms and Crest. This was adopted by Bylaw No. 3081 and approved by Order-In-Council N110.49 dated January 14th , 1949.

The heraldic description of “Blazon” is:
Arms – Per chevron vert and or, in dexter chief an open book of learning argent leathered sable, in sinister chief a cogged wheel of six spokes in saltire and less of the third overall a wheat ear of the second, in a base a cross and saltire voided of the least with overall an annulet of the last encircling a bezant.

Crest - On a wreath of the colors a lion passant guardant or holding in his dexter paw a sprig of Saskatoon berries.

Motto – On a scroll are the words “Commerce Industry Education”

Note – The decoration flanking the shield is purely ornamental and is not mentioned in any blazoning. It is included (or omitted) both in particulars and in design according to the taste of the artist.

1) The background of the shield is divided into two parts, the upper being green and the lower gold. This suggests the main agricultural background of Saskatoon; the green of growing crops, the gold of harvest.
2) The silver open book of learning bound in black leather, on a green field, is taken directly from the Arms of the University of Saskatchewan and marks the connection between the academic seat and the city.
3) The silver cogged wheel with golden wheat war superimposed is significant of industry predominantly connected with agriculture.
4) The eight sets of paralleled lines on the gold background, radiating from a hub are symbolic of the importance of Saskatoon as a railway and distribution center. The golden coin encircled by the hub is indicative of the commercial importance of the city.

Two clipped articles from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, likely from 1976, document the flag design. The first clipping in addition shows a green pennant, bearing the arms on a white disk toward the hoist and the spray of Saskatoon berries on the remainder of the pennant. The second clipping documents the discovery of the original flag, made by Dick Whitehead and approved by council in 1952, attached to a wall in a transit garage.
Neal Wilson, 9 July 2016

Centennial flag

Saskatoon centennial flag image by Darrell Neuman, 13 May 2006

Police Service flag

Saskatoon police service flag image by Randy Young, 31 October 2015

Formed in 1903, the Saskatoon Police Service is a Canadian law enforcement agency with both municipal and provincial jurisdiction, based in the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The SPS operations in cooperation with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In addition to law enforcement duties at home, members of the SPS have deployed worldwide to help train law enforcement officers in developing countries, such as Afghanistan and Kosovo.

The armorial bearings and flag of the Saskatoon Police Service were recorded in the Canadian Register of Arms in June 2007. Information regarding the flag can be found at The flag is light blue with the SPS badge (as recorded in the Register) centered on the field. The flag is sometimes displayed with an alternating fringe of blue and gold.
Randy Young, 31 October 2015