The flag of the province of Quebec, also called Fleurdelis, is composed of a white cross on a dark blue background trimmed with a white lily flower in each of the four cantons. The use of the blue flag with a white cross was spread in the army and the merchant navy since the 16th century.
The flag is derived from a banner, called Carillon, that would have been carried by the Canadian militia at the battle of Fort Carillon defended by the men of Montcalm against the assault of the British troops in 1758. The blue flag with a white cross and trimmed with four lily flowers pointing towards the centre was hoist, for the first time, at the top of the tower of the provincial parliament of Quebec city in 1948. The present flag, adopted by the government of Quebec, flew a short time after for and on behalf of the Union Jack.
It is usual to see the cross as the symbol of Christian faith and in the lily flower one of the symbols of monarchy. Contrary to popular belief, the lily flowers are not taken from the banner of the kings of France. The flowers of the flag of Quebec are white and those of the royal banner golden. Regarding the colours, it is common to assert that they are related to the Virgin Mary. Although these assertions conceal some truth, it is not without interest to understand why the lily flower became a royal emblem and to know the meaning of the colours of the flag.