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Abbotsford, British Columbia

Last modified: 2005-09-24 by phil nelson
Keywords: british columbia | abbotsford |
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[Abbotsford, British Columbia] image by Blas Delgado

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The City of Abbotsford was formed in 1995 from the merger of the District of Abbotsford and the District of Matsqui (pron. MATTS-kwee). The District of Abbotsford, incorporated 1972, itself was an amalgamation of the Village of Abbotsford (inc. 1924) and the District of Sumas (inc. 1913). This is one of the few examples of amalgamation in BC, unlike the trend toward Mega-Cities in Central Canada.

Abbotsford sits on the south shore of the Fraser River, with Mission to the North (across the Fraser), Langley Twp. to the West, Chilliwack to the East, and Sumas, Washington, USA to the South. There is a border crossing to Sumas WA, and an international airport. Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), which now is served by scheduled airlines carrying passengers across Canada, is still the home to one of the largest airshows in North America, held each August. Abbotsford is in the Fraser Valley Regional District, but participates with the Greater Vancouver Regional District.
Dean McGee, 9 August 2005

Current Flag

The new arms were granted to the new City in 1995. They take the pattern of the old Abbotsford arms and add the Green colour from the Matsqui arms. The crest is the Thunderbird from the Matsqui arms, recoloured. The crest has become the main logo of the City, but does not appear on the flag. The supporters were also changed. The flag is a banner of the new arms.
Dean McGee, 9 August 2005

Flag 1992-1995

[Abbotsford, British Columbia]
image by Blas Delgado and Dean McGee, 9 August 2005

On the twentieth anniversary of incorporation (1992), the District of Abbotsford was granted a coat of arms by the Canadian Heraldic Authority. These arms had a Blue background, and featured straight and diagonal crosses forming a pattern reminiscent of the Union Jack, apparently representing Abbotsford as the "crossroads", at the centre is a strawberry blossom, representing the local berry growing industry, and also the Fraser River. The flag was a banner of arms.
Dean McGee, 9 August 2005

Flag pre-1992

[Abbotsford, pre-1992]
image by The Flag Shop Vancouver through Dean McGee, 9 August 2005

There was also a "letterhead logo" flag used by the District of Abbotsford in its pre-heraldic days: an "A" with a wheel, and the city's name in a curved font (no date known, but a very 70s or early 80s graphic design style). The wheel-spoke design influenced the District's coat of arms, which later gave way to the current arms and flag.
Dean McGee, 9 August 2005

Police Flag

[Abbortsford Police] image by Dean McGee, 9 August 2005

Abbotsford Police Department is one of the few independent city police forces in BC. Prior to amalgamation, Matsqui had its own police force, and Abbotsford an RCMP detachment. After Amalgamation the new force took the Abbotsford name, and many of the Matsqui symbols. Their flag is reminiscent of the old Matsqui Flag. It features the full Coat of Arms of the City on a Green-White-Green Canadian Pale, with "ABBOTSFORD" written above, and "POLICE" written below, in straight horizontal lines, in sans-serif capitals.
Dean McGee, 9 August 2005

Matsqui District Flag

[Matsqui district, British Columbia]
image by The Flag Shop Vancouver through Dean McGee, 9 August 2005

The District of Matsqui had a coat of Arms granted by the College of Heralds in England. The full achievement (shield, helm, mantling, crest, but no supporters or compartment) was placed on a Green-White-Green Canadian Pale. The arms included two winged wheels (Abbotsford Airport was in Matsqui District), two sprigs of Strawberry plants, and a beehive kiln. The Thunderbird crest (which faces the sinister) was adapted to become the crest of the new city. The flag bore the legend "DISTRICT OF MATSQUI" in an arch across the top, and "B.C. , CANADA" straight across the bottom, with a large gap after BC, and the comma more or less centred.
Dean McGee, 9 August 2005