Flag Protocol

Learn about the significance of flags, flag etiquette and Prince Edward Island flag procedures.

Flag Protocol

Flag protocol determines the positioning of flags at provincial events or ceremonies.

Positioning of two flags

iStock image of Canada and USA flags outdoorsIf you stand facing the flags, Canada’s flag is on the left and the other, whether it is a national or sub-national flag, is on the right, as follows:

  • Canada
  • Other

Positioning of three flags with a foreign country

If you stand facing the flags, Canada’s flag should be in the centre, the flag of the foreign country is to the left, and Prince Edward Island’s flag is to the right, as follows:

  • Foreign Country
  • Canada
  • Prince Edward Island

Image of PEI flag, Canada flag and Acadian flag at Government HousePositioning of three flags with a municipality

If you stand facing the flags, Canada’s flag is in the centre, the Prince Edward Island flag is to the left and the municipal flag is to the right as follows:

  • Prince Edward Island
  • Canada
  • Municipality


There is a standard practice for half-masting flags, established by the federal government and followed by all provinces. The practice is not mandatory for individuals or organizations; it is adapted from international usage and reflects a long-standing custom in Canada.

iStock image of Canada flag flying at half-mastFlags at all provincial government buildings will be flown at half-mast upon the death of:

  • the Sovereign
  • a member of the Royal Family related in the first degree to the Sovereign (husband, wife, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister)
  • the Governor General of Canada; a former Governor General
  • the Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island; a former Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island
  • the Premier of Prince Edward Island; a former Premier of Prince Edward Island
  • the Prime Minister; a former Prime Minister
  • any other person whom it is desired to honour

Flags may also be flown at half-mast on commemorative anniversary dates legislated by provincial government.

Flags at all Prince Edward Island government buildings within the ridings or community of residence will be flown at half-mast upon the death of:

  • a current Privy Councillor, Senator or Member of Parliament from Prince Edward Island
  • a current Member of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island

Flags are not normally half-masted for foreign or Commonwealth heads of state or government, as these fall under federal jurisdiction; nor for federal ministers, Senators or Members of Parliament who are not from Prince Edward Island.

The flag flown at the Peace Tower signifies the collective sorrow and respect of all Canadians.

Flags at individual ministry or regional facilities may be half-masted in cases of lives lost while at work, or other tragic events. Flags at the Legislative Assembly are flown at half-mast at the discretion of the Speaker, not the government.

Flags may be half-masted from sunrise to sunset on the day of the funeral in the region of the funeral for soldiers killed in the line of duty, who were originally from Prince Edward Island or recently posted to Prince Edward Island.

For details about national flag protocol, visit canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/flag-canada-etiquette

Annual Half-Mast Days

Each year, Prince Edward Island flies flags at half-mast from sunrise to sunset on:

  • April 9 - National Day of Remembrance of the Battle of Vimy Ridge
  • April 28 - National Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace
  • June 23 - National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism
  • Last Sunday in September - National Peace and Police Officers Memorial Day
  • November 11 - Remembrance Day
  • December 6 - National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Recent Half Masts

  • Monday, April 18, 2020  - Period of mourning for the victims of the mass shooting tragedy in Nova Scotia
  • Monday, May 4, 2020 – Flags remained at half mast for Nova Scotia victims of Canadian Forces helicopter crash in Greece


Debbie Atkinson
Chief of Protocol
P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE  C1A 7N8
Telephone: 902-368-4605
Email: djatkinson@gov.pe.ca (link sends e-mail)


Published date: 
June 15, 2020
Executive Council Office

General Inquiries

Executive Council
5th Floor, Shaw Building
95 Rochford Street
P.O. Box 2000,
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-4501
Fax: 902-368-4416