Flag of Bermuda
|Design||Red Ensign with the coat-of-arms of Bermuda in the fly. |
The flag is unusual for a British overseas territory in that it is used on land in a red ensign form; most other British overseas territories use a version of the blue ensign for general use ashore. Bermuda's use of a red ensign on land is in keeping with Canada (pre-1965) and the Union of South Africa (pre 1928), both of which used red ensigns ashore as local flags in the early part of the 20th century. Bermuda's flag is an appropriate civil ensign for vessels registered on the Bermuda portion of the British Register, by virtue of the Bermuda Merchant Shipping Act of 2002. The Governor of Bermuda uses a Union Flag defaced with the coat of arms, a design traditional for Governors of the British overseas territories. For the state ensign, a blue ensign is used. 
The coat of arms of Bermuda depicts a red lion holding a shield that has a depiction of a wrecked ship upon it. The red lion is a symbol of England and alludes to Bermuda’s relationship with that country. The wrecked ship is the Sea Venture, the flagship of the Virginia Company. The ship was deliberately driven on to the reefs of Bermuda, by Admiral Sir George Somers, in 1609, to prevent it from foundering in a storm. All aboard survived, resulting in the settlement of the island. The Latin motto under the coat of arms, Quo Fata Ferunt, means “Whither the Fates Carry [Us]”.