The flag of Nova Scotia, created in 1858, is a banner of the coat of arms of Nova Scotia, which were granted to the Scottish colony by Charles I, in 1625.
The flag of the modern Canadian province, a blue saltire on a white field, is a simple figure-ground reversal of the flag of Scotland (a white saltire, Saint Andrew's cross, on a blue field), charged with an inescutcheon bearing the royal arms of Scotland, a gold shield with a red lion rampant surrounded by a royal double tressure (a double border decorated with fleurs de lis). The royal arms do not appear on Scotland's flag - they were added to Nova Scotia's to distinguish the flag from the Naval Ensign of Russia which is also a blue saltire on a white field.
The similarity to the Scottish flag reflects the province's name, which is Latin for "New Scotland.' Nova Scotia was one of the few Canadian colonies to be granted its own Coat of Arms, and the flag is the only one of the Canadian provinces dating back to before confederation.
The flag is ranked #12 in the North American Vexillological Association's survey of North American state and provincial flags.