The Northwest Territories' first official flag was chosen by a special committee of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories in 1969. The committee reviewed entries from a Canada wide contest. The winner of the contest was Robert Bessant from Margaret, Manitoba.
The flag features a blue field, on which is a Canadian pale (a white stripe taking up half the width of the flag), with at the centre, the shield from the coat of arms of the Northwest Territories. The blue represents the abundant Northwest Territories waters, whereas the white represents snow and ice.