The flag of British Columbia is based upon the shield of the provincial arms of British Columbia. At the top of the flag is a rendition of the Union Flag, defaced in the centre by a crown, representing the province's origins as a British colony, with a setting sun below.
The British Columbian flag was introduced on June 14, 1960, by Premier W. A. C. Bennett, and was first flown on board the BC Ferries motor vessel Sidney (later Queen of Sidney). Some early versions of the flag were reversed, with the Union Flag on the bottom. This was changed as it conflicted with the expression "The sun never sets on the British Empire."
The four wavy white and three wavy blue lines symbolize the province's location between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. The setting sun represents the fact that British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province. The sun may also reflect the provincial motto "Splendor sine occasu" (beauty that never diminishes) -- or, in other words, the sun that never sets (on the British Empire). In Canada, it could be argued, the Empire lives on in the country's symbols and parliamentary institutions. The Union Flag on top reflects the province's British heritage, while the King Edward crown in the centre represents the Canadian Royal Family. The flag has an aspect ratio of 3:5.
The flag of British Columbia is similar to the flag of the British Indian Ocean Territory. It also bears similarities to the flag of Suffolk county in the United Kingdom.