Canton (flag)
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Canton Flag

A canton in a flag is a rectangular area, usually 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 British ensigns, a canton sometimes contains a symbol of national unity, such as the blue field and white stars of the American flag. In these cases, the canton may be called simply the union.

The American flag's canton derives from Britain's use of the Union Jack in the flags of its possessions (including, historically, the Thirteen American Colonies). Subsequently, many New World nations (along with other later countries and regions, such as Liberia or Malaysia) that were inspired by the United States adopted flag elements that were inspired by the American flag. As a result, many extant uses of a prominent canton derive either from British territorial history, or American influence and inspiration.

Current flags using cantons

Sovereign states

Territories, regions, and provinces


Former flags that used cantons


Territories, organizations, and subdivisions


Confederate States


Serbia and Montenegro

South Africa

United States


See also

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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