The graceful flag of Nova Scotia was the first flag in the overseas Commonwealth to be authorized by Royal Charter. It is derived from the ancient Arms granted in 1625 by King Charles I.
In response to a petition of the province in 1929, a Royal Warrant of King George V revoked the modern Arms that has been put in place with Confederation. The Ancient and Honourable Arms were restored to be "borne for the said Province of Nova Scotia upon Seals, Shields, Banners or otherwise according to the Laws of Arms."
The flag consists of Arms, with the cross of Saint Andrew extended in a rectangle three-quarters as wide as its length. It is a symbol of the crown in the right of the province, and its use today is determined by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council.
It is now flown on provincial buildings, and on public and private flagstaffs throughout the province.
Its first usage in the modern era was on the high seas, when it flew at the masthead of many Nova Scotian merchant ships in the boisterous age of sail.