crocus MANITOBA crocus

  • Manitoba became a province in 1870.
  • The name Manitoba first referred to Lake Manitoba.
  • In the Assiniboine language, it is Mini tobow meaning "Lake of the Prairie".
  • In Cree, it is Manitou bou for "the narrows of the Great Spirit".


  • Manitoba's flag looks a lot like Canada's former flag, the Canadian Red Ensign
  • The Union Jack is in the upper left corner on a red background.
  • The province's shield is on the right side of the flag.
  • It became the official flag of Manitoba in 1966.


  • At the top of the shield is the English cross of St. George.
  • The lower part has a bison on green background. (There were thousands of bison roaming the prairies before the settlers arrived.)

coat of arms

  • The shield is at the centre of the coat of arms.
  • Above it is a gold helmet and a beaver holding a crocus (the provincial flower).
  • At the very top is a crown.
  • A unicorn and a white horse are on either side.
  • The unicorn represents the early Scottish settlers.
  • The horse was very important to the First Peoples, the Métis and European settlers.
  • The unicorn's collar has a wheel from a Red River cart.
  • The Aboriginal circle of life is on the horse's collar.
  • The bottom has grain fields, water, the provincial flower and tree.
  • The motto Gloriosus et liber means "Glorious and Free".


  • The crocus is often the first flower appearing in the early spring.
  • School children in Manitoba chose it for the floral emblem in 1906.
  • The flower is various shades of purple, from a bluish-purple to a pale purple.
  • The crocus has a furry covering to protect it from the cold.

Click on the small photo to see
a larger picture of the crocus.


  • bird - Great Grey Owl; lives year-round in the forests of Manitoba; the largest owl in North America
  • animal - bison
  • tree - White Spruce


Web Pages for Students

J.Giannetta 1999
updated 2011

source - Canadian Heritage