The Republic of Madawaska
Comfortably nestled in the hollow of the Appalachian Mountains along the magnificent Saint John River Valley, on the borders of New Brunswick, Quebec and Maine, the Republic of Madawaska awaits you, vibrant and welcoming.
A republic? Yes, but a republic... legendary! And it is thanks to an astonishing encounter between history, settlement and geography that it came into being. Far back in time, at the beginning of everything, this Madawaska valley, covering both banks of the Saint John River, was populated by Maliseet. Madawaska means "land of porcupines" in the Maliseet language.
According to a legend, the expression Republic of Madawaska was born from a joke made by a Madawaska settler to a French inspector during the period of territorial disputes. "I am a citizen of the Republic of Madawaska", he is said to have told him on that occasion. This same remark was also repeated by a Madawaska MLA during a session of the Legislative Assembly in Fredericton in the 1920s and 1930s.
In 1949, under the impetus of two Edmundston citizens, the concept of the Republic of Madawaska was officially put forward in order to accentuate the region's particular tourist flavor. Its promoters give it a coat of arms, then a flag. They even create an "Order of the Knights of the Republic", of which the mayor of Edmundston, capital of the Republic, is ex officio president.
And since then, as a nod to history, the inhabitants of Madawaska (familiarly called the Brayons) take pleasure in naming their beautiful region: The Republic of Madawaska!
The flag of the Republic of Madawaska
The eagle represents the great neighboring nation, the United States of America.
The white background represents the purity of the Madawaska landscape and its people.
The six red stars represent the founders and the blood they sweated to clear a virgin forest and open our lands to abundant cultivation.
Coat of arms of the Republic
The joined hands: one represents the French; the other the English, united by friendly cooperation working towards a common goal.
The porcupine: the native name of the county.
The fleur-de-lis: the French.