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Westmount, Quebec (Canada)

Last modified: 2012-08-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: westmount | quebec | sun (setting) | raven | roses (white) | sun |
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[Westmount flag] image by Marc Pasquin

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City flag

This is a banner of arms used by the (former-and-more-then-probably-future) city of Westmount.
Marc Pasquin, 12 June 2005

Martin C. Barry, in The Westmount Examiner, 11 January 2005, reports the hoisting of the flag of Westmount on New Year's Day, the first official day of Westmount’s newly restored status as a city.

Six years after Quebec first started implementing Westmount’s forced merger with the City of Montreal, followed by an intense anti-merger campaign and a successful demerger vote last year, the day of municipal reconstitution had finally come.

In recognition of the historic event, more than 150 residents gathered during the afternoon on New Year’s Day at City Hall, where everyone had the opportunity to write their name in Westmount’s Golden Book, a registry of eminent guests first signed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1959.


To the sound of loud cheers, Westmount’s flag was raised on a stainless steel mast in front of City Hall.

[…]the banner, which features a setting sun, the crenellations of City Hall and the Raven of St. Anthony, representing the original name (Côte St. Antoine) of Westmount.

The article is illustrated by a picture captioned as follows:

With a great cheer, Mayor Karin Marks and former mayor Peter Trent prepare to hoist the Westmount flag at City Hall on New Year’s Day—the first official day of Westmount’s newly restored status as a city."

Ivan Sache, 18 January 2006

The City of Westmount (20,827 inhabitants in 2010; 390 ha) is located on the Montreal Island, on the western slope of Mount Royal.

Westmount claims to be some kind of the oldest municipality in North America. The Amerindian necropolis excavated in 1898 around the St. George's Club are believed to be older than the 15th century. In 1684, priests from the Society of Saint-Sulpice built the Fort des Messieurs, long disappeared except two towers and some walls reused when building the Montreal College. The official aim of the fort was to preserve the Amerindians living in the mission from the nefarious influence of the Montreal merchants. In the early 18th century, the Society of Saint-Sulpice transferred stripes of land to French colonists. The first settlers were the Saint-Germain and Leduc families. Known as Côte-Sainte-Antoine, the place was incorporated to the Saint-Henri parish, a subdivision of Montreal's first parish. in 1874, the Village of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce seceded from Saint-Henri, being renamed Village of Côte-Saint-Antoine in 1879, and upgraded in 1890 to the Town of Côte-Saint-Antoine, then with 1,850 inhabitants. The inauguration of the railway line in 1894 boosted the development of the town, which was renamed in 1895 City of Westmount. Completely modernized, the town inaugurated in 1899 the first municipal public library in Quebec. Westmount counted 10,000 inhabitants in 1902. In 1907, Westmount was proclaimed the best municipality in eastern Canada for its municipal services and the harmony between the urban and rural lifestyles.
- - Municipal website

Westmount was the first Canadian town to be granted arms by the King of Arms Lord Lyon of Edinburgh, dated 12 May 1945. These arms were registered with the Canadian Heraldry Authority on 15 February 2001 (Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges, Vol. IV, p. 90), as announced on 24 March 2001 in the Canada Gazette, Vol. 135, p. 939.

Per fess enarched Or and Purpure, issuant from chief a demi-sun in his splendour Argent rayed Gules, in base a rose branch fesswise, slipped at each end and leaved proper bearing two roses Argent and pendant from the middle of the branch an escutcheon Argent charged with the raven of Saint Anthony volant and bringing bread all  proper; Above the shield is placed a mural coronet of three towers proper;

ROBUR MEUM CIVIUM FIDES, meaning The Citizen's Faith Is My Strength."

The coat of arms of Westmount symbolizes the history of the settlement. The fess in the upper part of the shield represents the Royal Mount, behind which the sun goes down, suggesting "Westmount". The rose branch is said to be the emblem of the Blessed Virgin, recalling that the place was once called Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. The escutcheon in base evokes St. Anthony, who lived as an hermit and was fed by ravens dropping bread crumbs in his cell. This recalls the other former name of the town, Côte-Saint-Antoine.
- - Municipal website
- - Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges

Ivan Sache, 28 July 2012

Former flag

[Westmount flag] image by Ben Koorengevel, edited by Luc Baronian

I made this flag based on a description in Beaudoin. Though I never saw a municipal flag flying on Westmount's city hall, I have seen a banner of arms in a building owned by the former Montreal Urban Community in 1999. The arms were granted by the English College of Arms in May 1945 (the first arms granted to a Canadian municipality) and were confirmed by the Canadian Heraldic Authority on February 15 2001. The setting sun on the mountain refers to the name of the city. Two former names of the area are also referred to on the arms: the white roses are a reference to the former municipality of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, of which Westmount was once a part; the raven is a reference to St. Anthony, because Westmount was first incorporated as Côte-Saint-Antoine.

Reference: François Beaudoin, Symboles de la Communauté urbaine de Montréal, Vexilla Belgica, 1982.

Luc Baronian, 9 May 2005