Vue panoramique de Tracadie-Sheila

Origin of the Name

Map of New Brunswick

New Brunswick was named in 1784 to honour the reigning British monarch, King George III, who was also Duke of Brunswick.


The area now known as New Brunswick was originally inhabited by nations of the Algonquian linguistic group. The Mi'kmaq welcomed the French under Pierre de Monts and Samuel de Champlain when they first landed in New Brunswick in 1604. The relationship between the First Nations and the French was good from the start. The Mi'kmaq helped the French settlers, who became known as Acadians, adapt to the land. They also helped French troops launch raids on New England.

The Acadians were the first Europeans to settle in present-day New Brunswick. Until the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, when France ceded the area to Great Britain, both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were part of Acadia. However, over the years, France had all but ignored the Acadians, being much more concerned with New France and the increasing value of the fur trade there.

The Treaty of Utrecht created the British colony of Nova Scotia, which at that time included New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Nevertheless, Acadia continued for many years to be an area of conflict between the old world powers, and it was decades before the area was fully brought under British rule. After the British victory, many Acadians fled; others were expelled by the authorities in 1755.

In 1762, a trading community was established at the mouth of the St. John River by Massachusetts merchants. Before the peace of 1763, permanent British settlements were started by New Englanders at Chignecto and in the St. John River Valley. Settlers from Yorkshire, England, who came to Chignecto in the early 1770s, helped defeat an attempt from the rebellious colonies in 1776 to take Chignecto and its strategic Fort Cumberland/Beauséjour.

In 1783, thousands of Loyalist refugees from the American Revolution settled in the western part of Nova Scotia, far from the colony's administrative centre in Halifax. In response to Loyalist demands for their own colonial administration, the British government established the new colony of New Brunswick in 1784.

In 1864, New Brunswick was involved in discussions with the colonies of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland to consider a Maritime union when the Province of Canada was issued an invitation to attend the conference in Charlottetown. The result, three years later, was the creation of the Dominion of Canada.

New Brunswick was among the first four provinces to form the Dominion of Canada at Confederation on July 1, 1867. Promises of increased prosperity, a railway linking New Brunswick to central Canada, and a desire to unite with other British colonies to form a strong country in the face of growing American influence, all encouraged New Brunswick to join Confederation.

Coat of Arms

The shield of New Brunswick's coat of arms was granted by Queen Victoria in 1868. The crest and supporters were granted and the motto confirmed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1984 to honour the 200th anniversary of New Brunswick's creation.

The upper third of the shield is red with a gold lion, symbolizing New Brunswick's ties to Britain. The lion is also found in the arms of the Duchy of Brunswick in Germany, the ancestral home of King George III. The lower part of the shield displays an ancient galley, most probably a reflection of the importance of shipbuilding and seafaring to New Brunswick in the 19th century. The galley is also based on the design of the province's original great seal, which featured a sailing ship on water.

The shield is supported by two white-tailed deer wearing collars of wampum. From one collar is suspended the Royal Union Flag, from the other the arms of Royalist France, to indicate the province's British and French background. Today, New Brunswick is Canada's only officially bilingual province.

The crest above the shield features an Atlantic salmon leaping from a coronet of gold maple leaves and bearing St. Edward's Crown on its back. The coat of arms' base is a grassy mound with fiddleheads and purple violets, the provincial floral emblem.


SPEM REDUXIT (Hope restored)


The New Brunswick flag was proclaimed by the province's Lieutenant Governor in 1965. Its design is based on the provincial shield of arms approved by Queen Victoria in 1868. The flag's proportions are four by length and two and one-half by width.

Floral Emblem

New Brunswick's floral emblem, the purple violet (Viola cucullata), was adopted in 1936. The flower, a relative of the pansy, can be purple or dark blue and is also known as the marsh blue violet. Its stems are from 8 to 15 centimetres long. The purple violet is found throughout Eastern Canada, particularly in wet meadows and woodlands. It grows especially well in New Brunswick and is seen in fields, lawns and gardens in the early summer.

Other Provincial Symbols

Tartan :
New Brunswick Tartan
Tree :
Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)
Bird :
Black-capped Chickadee
Official Soil :
Holmesville Soil Series
Fishing Fly :
"Picture Province" Atlantic Salmon Fly


Les rochers d'Hopewell à marée basse, parc provincial The Rocks, baie de Fundy


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