Flag Protocol

The National Flag of Canada and the flags of provinces, territories and local governments are symbols of honour and pride for Canadians.

The manner that flags are displayed in Canada is governed by established practice. For example, each flag must have its own pole, and flags flown together must be the same size and dimension.

Flag Placement

When more than one flag is flown, rules govern the order of flag placement.

Flying Flags at Half-Mast

Flying flags at the half-mast position (PDF) is a sign of respect and mourning for an individual or to mark a special day. The position of the flag when flying at half-mast depends on its size, the length of the flagstaff and its location. Half-mast generally means the position of the flag is exactly half-way down the flag pole.

The Office of Protocol administers the policy for flying flags at half-mast. All government buildings in B.C., including the Legislative building and all other public sector buildings, must follow the half-masting rules (PDF). These rules serve as a guideline for any other building or residence in the province that flies a provincial flag.

In addition to flying flags at half-mast to recognize and mourn a death, the following special days are also observed:

  • April 9 – Vimy Ridge Day (at the B.C. Legislature only)
  • April 28 – Workers' Mourning Day
  • June 23 – National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism
  • Second Sunday in September – Firefighters' National Memorial Day
  • Last Sunday in September – Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day
  • September 30 – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
  • November 11 – Remembrance Day
  • December 6 – National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Altering Images of B.C.'s Flag

You may resize the whole, intact image of B.C. flag, as long as the horizontal and vertical scales are maintained in the correct proportions (5 x 3). However, you cannot alter electronic images of the flag in any other way including condensing, expanding, re-arranging or distorting the image.

Disposal of Flags

When a flag becomes tattered and is no longer in a suitable condition for use, destroy it in a dignified way, such as folding the flag respectfully and burning it privately.