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A canton in a flag is a rectangular area at the top hoist corner of a flag, occupying up to a quarter of the flag's area. The canton of a flag may be a flag in its own right. For instance, British ensigns have the Union Jack as their canton, as do their derivatives such as the national flags of Australia and New Zealand.

Following the practice of the UK's ensigns, a canton sometimes contains a symbol of national unity such as the blue field and white stars of the US flag. In these cases, the canton may be called simply the union.

The US flag's canton derives from the UK's use of the Union Jack in the canton of its possessions (including, historically, the early United States). Subsequently, many New World nations (and other later countries and regions, such as Liberia or Malaysia) that were inspired by the US incorporated elements likewise inspired by the US flag. As a result, many extant uses of a prominent canton derive either from UK territorial history, or US influence and inspiration.


Current flags using cantonsEdit


Territories, regions, and provincesEdit


Former flags that used cantonsEdit


Territories, organizations, and subdivisionsEdit


Confederate StatesEdit


Serbia and MontenegroEdit

South AfricaEdit

United StatesEdit


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit