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  • Writer's pictureThe Mighty Ship

"NEW IRELAND, CANADA?"

Updated: Feb 11

You might recognize this flag as that of my home province of New Brunswick. In my humble opinion, it's the most beautiful of all the provincial flags. Aside from the colour scheme, it's got the ocean, a ship, and a lion. Come on! What can beat that? Admittedly, Nova Scotia's is a close second for me, but did you know that the eventual country that became Canada had both a New Scotland (Nova Scotia) and a New Ireland (albeit for a very short period of time)? To learn more about this interesting story, please read below.



When Queen Anne, the last of the Stuart dynasty, died with no heir in 1714, her very distant German cousin George, the Elector of Hanover replaced her as monarch. His great grandson, who became George III, was not only the King of Great Britain and Ireland, but concurrently held titles in his family's native Germany, where he was "Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg, Arch-Treasurer, and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire". (1) In 1783, when The American Revolution ended, those still loyal to the Crown streamed across the border to continue to live as subjects rather than as newly independent citizens. In 1784, to compensate for this Loyalist influx, it was decided that Nova Scotia, one massive landmass at the time, would be partitioned into two separate colonies and the new province was to be named New Ireland. (2) According to the letters of Edward Winslow, it was to be called as such as least as early as April of that year, but was subsequently renamed by July. (3) Its capital would be named Fredericton, after Prince Frederick, the King's second son. (4)


As a New Brunswicker of Irish ancestry, I highly prefer New Ireland! What are your thoughts on this name? Which do you prefer and why? Let me know in the comments below.



Sources:




Slainte!


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