The Montreal flag has 5 aspects by which it is defined: the red cross and a symbol in each of the 4 quadrants. The four floral emblems represent the four main European ethnic groups that helped to found the city.

The prominent red cross is a heraldic cross which represents the Christian motives and principles which governed the founders of the city. The symbol in the top left quadrant is a fleur-de-lis which represents the original settlers of the city - the French. The symbol in the top right quadrant is a rose which represents the English. The symbol in the bottom left quadrant is a thistle which represents the Scottish. The symbol in the bottom right quadrant is a shamrock which represents the Irish.

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