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Iqaluit, Nunavut (Canada)


Last modified: 2013-01-01 by rob raeside
Keywords: iqaluit | nunavut | fish | mountain | ice sheet |
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[Iqaliut flag] image by Arnaud Leroy, 18 November 2005
Source: Iqaliut city hall

See also:

Outside inks:


The following is adapted from the Iqaluit web site on the city history:

The area around Iqaluit was first explored by Martin Frobisher in 1576. Frobisher thought that he had discovered not only the Northwest Passage but also gold - and he was wrong in both cases.  It was not until 1861 that Charles Francis Hall discovered that Frobisher's straits was really a bay.

Commercial activity in the 1800's was centered around the whaling industry, but in the 20th century it shifted to fur trading, with the Hudson Bay Company opening its first trading post in the area in 1914 at Ward Inlet.  The fur industry collapsed in the 1930s.

In 1955, Frobisher Bay was settled as a center for construction of the DEW line and by 1959 Frobisher Bay became a permanent settlement.  In 1963, Frobisher Bay served as a base for the US Strategic Air Command, but in 1963 the US Air Force left and the town became a center for Canadian government operations in the eastern Arctic.

Local government began in June 1964 when the first community council was formed.  In 1970, Frobisher Bay became a "settlement" followed by status of a village (1974) and town (1980).  The first mayor was elected in 1979.  In 1987 the name was changed to Iqaluit (place of many fish, in Inuktitut).

The signing of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement in 1993 resulted in the selection of Iqaluit to be the territorial capital in December, 1995.  On April 18, 2001, Iqaluit officially became a city.
Phil Nelson, 12 May 2005

Previously used flag

[Iqaliut flag] image by Peter Orenski, 12 November 2012
based on research and information provided by James Croft and Kevin Harrington

The flag can be seen in a photography at This is a photo of the first sitting of the Nunavut territorial parliament, with the (second) Iqaluit flag hanging just left of center. This flag has often been rendered in a very light blue colour (e.g., in Canadian Civic Flags). The reason that the incorrect color was chosen is because it is on the welcome sign to the City of Iqaluit. This second civic flag was chosen when the was name was changed from Frobisher Bay, I believe in 1987. The first flag was created in 1985, and a featured bird.
Mark Ritzenhein, 22 December 2012


Apex (Inuktitut Niaqunngut) is a small community near Iqaluit located on Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada. It is about 5 km (3.1 mi) southeast of Iqaluit on a small peninsula separating Koojesse (Kuujussi) Inlet from Tarr Inlet. Officially and functionally part of the City of Iqaluit, Apex residents are independent minded and tend to reject affiliation with "Frobisher Bay"." - from Wikipedia:,_Iqaluit

Although not a municipality, in 2003 there were efforts to design a community flag, and a winner design was chosen. Unfortunately, no description, nor image are available. Read the story in a Nunavut Assembly document here:, pages 16 and 17.
Valentin Poposki, 23 April 2011