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If you’ve ever been to Newfoundland, you have without a doubt seen this flag flying proudly on houses and in backyards, on corner stores, in pubs and covering the shelves of every gift shop, The Newfoundland tricolour, also known as “Pink, White and Green”, originated in St. John’s in the early 1840s, more than a hundred years before confederation. As with most things from the province, the flag has a unique story behind it. It is said that during annual wood hauls for the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, which took place while sealers were in town, considerable rivalry developed between the two groups involved. The Protestant English marked their woodpiles with the pink flag of the Natives’ Society, while the Catholic Irish used green banners. The threat of violence was such that Bishop Michael Fleming intervened, and persuaded the sealers to adopt a common flag, on which the pink and green would be separated by a white stripe to symbolize peace, taken from the banner of Scotland. This new flag was adopted and soon became Newfoundland’s unofficial flag.
As compelling as this story may be, there is not a shred of evidence to support any aspect of it. Regardless, the Newfoundland tricolour is one of the oldest symbols in continuous use in Newfoundland and Labrador. It predates its cousin the Irish flag by five years, and is the oldest flag in the world to use the color pink.