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The Franco-Ontarian flag consists of two bands of green and white. The left portion has a solid light green background with a white fleur-de-lys in the middle, while the right portion has a solid white background with a stylized green trillium in the middle. The green represents the summer months, while the white represents the winter months. The trillium is the floral symbol of Ontario, while the fleur-de-lys represents the French-Canadian heritage of the Franco-Ontarian community. The green colour on the flag is Pantone 349, in RGB (0,99,56).
The flag was created by Laurentian University professor Gaétan Gervais in conjunction with students Michel Dupuis, Donald Obonsawin and Yves Tassé, and was flown for the first time at the University of Sudbury building on September 25, 1975. It was officially adopted as the community's flag by the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario in 1977, and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario legally recognized it as the official flag of the Franco-Ontarian community in the Franco-Ontarian Emblem Act of 2001.
In 2003 a controversy arose in Sudbury when the city government voted against flying the flag at Tom Davies Square for St-Jean-Baptiste Day, claiming that it would be inappropriate for the city government to display on public property a symbol representative of only a portion of the city's population. In 2006, new mayor John Rodriguez reversed that decision, permitting the flag to be flown, but was again criticized by some voters for acting unilaterally.
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Franco-Ontarian flag in September 2005, Prise de parole, a Sudbury-based publishing house, published a book titled Le Drapeau franco-ontarien (edited by Guy Gaudreau, a history professor at Laurentian University.)
On September 25, 2006, the largest Franco-Ontarian flag was unfurled in Ottawa. The historical park, also known as Les Monuments de la francophonie d'Ottawa, was built by the francophone community to commemorate francophone contribution in the development and well being of the City of Ottawa. This first of six Monuments de la francophonie d'Ottawa is dedicated to the subject of education. The flag is 5 x 10 m and was raised on a 27 m pole.
In 2010, the Ontario government designated September 25 as Franco-Ontarian Day. The date was chosen as it represented the anniversary of the flag.
Following the controversial cutbacks to French-language services announced by the government of Doug Ford in 2018, governments in Quebec began to fly the Franco-Ontarian flag as a gesture of solidarity. The flag was hoisted at Montreal City Hall on November 23, and at the National Assembly of Quebec on December 1.
- "Franco-Ontarian Flag". The Canadian Encyclopedia, August 21, 2013.
- Franco-Ontarian Emblem Act of 2001.
- "Mayor drives home agenda for next 100 days Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, Northern Life, December 7, 2006.
- "September 25 Is Now Franco-Ontarian Day". Government of Ontario. April 26, 2010. Archived from the original on November 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- "Provincial plaque commemorates the Franco-Ontarian Flag". Canada NewsWire, September 25, 2017.
- "Franco-Ontarian flag flies over Montreal city hall as Ford softens stance on French services". CTV Montreal, November 23, 2018.
- "Franco-Ontarian flag to fly outside Quebec National Assembly". Montreal Gazette, November 30, 2018.