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The Coat of Arms of Her Majesty in Right of Canada
Coat of arms of Canada.svg
Details
Armiger Elizabeth II
Adopted 21 November 1921
Crest Upon a Royal helmet, a lion passant guardant or imperially crowned proper and holding in the dexter paw a maple leaf Gules.
Torse Argent and gules, the mantling gules doubled argent.
Escutcheon Tierced in fess, the first and second divisions containing the quarterly coat following, namely, 1st Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or, 2nd, Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules, 3rd, Azure a harp Or stringed Argent, 4th, Azure three fleurs-de-lis Or, and the third division being Argent three maple leaves conjoined on one stem proper.
Supporters Dexter a lion Or holding a lance Argent, point Or, flying therefrom to the dexter the Royal Union Flag, sinister a unicorn Argent armed, crined and unguled Or, gorged with a coronet composed of crosses-patée and fleurs-de-lis a chain affixed thereto and reflexed Or, holding a like lance flying therefrom to the sinister a banner Azure charged with three fleurs-de-lis Or.
Compartment A wreath of roses, thistles, shamrocks and lilies proper.
Motto A Mari usque ad Mare, Latin for "from sea to sea."
Orders The ribbon of the Order of Canada inscribed Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam, Latin for "they desire a better country."
Other elements The whole ensigned by the Royal Crown proper.

The Arms of Canada (also known as the Royal Coat of Arms of Canada.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] or formally as the Arms of His/Her Majesty in Right of Canada)[8] is, since 1921, the official coat of arms of the Canadian monarch, and thus also of Canada. It is closely modelled after the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom with distinctive Canadian elements replacing or added to those derived from the British.

The maple leaves in the shield, blazoned "proper", were originally drawn vert (green) but were redrawn gules (red) in 1957. A circlet of the Order of Canada was added to the arms for limited use in 1987. The shield design forms the Royal Standard of Canada, and the shield is found on the Canadian Red Ensign. The Flag of the Governor General of Canada, which formerly used the shield over the Union Flag, now uses the crest of the arms on a blue field.

Contents

History

Prior to Confederation in 1867, the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom served in Canada as the symbol of royal authority.[9] Arms had not been granted to any of the colonies in British North America, apart from the 17th century grants to Nova Scotia[10] and Newfoundland.[11][12] The year after Confederation, arms were granted by Royal Warrant on 6 May to Ontario,[13] Quebec,[14] Nova Scotia[15] (whose arms were changed in 1929)[10] and New Brunswick.[16] The warrant also specified the new arms of what was then known as the Dominion of Canada: the arms of the individual provinces quartered on one shield. Over time, as more provinces and territories joined Canada, the national arms were further augmented with the arms of the new members of Confederation. This eventually resulted in a shield with nine quarterings, an arrangement that had never been approved by any monarch; the only legal national arms were those approved in 1868.[9]

Nine quarterings on a shield is too complex[9] for a national symbol, and by 1915 a push had begun to design a new coat of arms for Canada.[17] A committee was formed in 1919 to pursue the issue, eventually agreeing that the elements of the new arms would reference the Royal Arms of England, Ireland, Scotland, and France, with maple leaves representing Canada, though there was at the time no consensus on how the leaves were to be used.[17] The decision was settled by 1920, and the committee consulted with the College of Arms in London, only to face resistance to the use of the Royal Arms from the Garter King of Arms.[17] After some manoeuvring, the new arms of Canada were eventually formally requested by an Order-in-Council on 30 April 1921, and adopted in November of the same year by proclamation of King George V as the "Arms or Ensigns Armorial of the Dominion of Canada," on 21 November.[18]

The new layout closely reflected the arms of the United Kingdom,[19] with the addition of maple leaves in the base, and the reference to the French royal arms in the fourth quarter.[20] By 1957, the arms were redrawn by Alan Beddoe so as to have red leaves, and to change the royal crown from one of a Tudor design to one more resembling the St. Edward's Crown, as preferred by Queen Elizabeth II.[9]

In 1994, the Queen approved a new design for general use (already in limited use from 1987)[2] for the arms by Cathy Bursey-Sabourin, which had added to it an annulus behind the shield with the motto of the Order of Canada (Desiderantes meliorem patriam). It was soon adopted as the version used by the federal government within the Federal Identity Program.[9]

In June 2008 MP Pat Martin introduced a motion into the House of Commons calling on the government to amend the coat of arms to incorporate symbols representing Canada's First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.[21]

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Armorial evolution

1905 Canadian coat of arms postcard.jpg Coat of Arms of Canada (1923).jpg Coat of Arms of Canada (1957).jpg Coat of arms of Canada.svg
1905 1921 1957 1994

Use

The coat of arms painted inside the Centre Block of the Parliament of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario

The arms are used as a mark of authority by various government agencies and representatives, including the Prime Minister[22] and Cabinet,[23] the Speaker of the House of Commons,[24] Parliament[25] and most courts, including the Supreme Court.[26] It is also present on all denominations of Canadian paper currency (in fact, the way the Arms are printed on each bill is a security feature),[27] as well as the 50 cent coin,[28] and on the cover of Canadian passports.[29] Since 1962, a banner of the arms, defaced with a variant of the Queen's cypher, has formed the Royal Standard of Canada, for use by the sovereign in her capacity as monarch of Canada.[30] In the Canadian Forces the ranks of Chief Warrant Officer and Chief Petty Officer 1st Class wear the coat of arms as their symbol of rank.[31]

The full achievement of the coat of arms is used by the Government on occasion on a plain red flag, such as in 1967 for the country's centennial celebrations.[32]

The personal flag of the Governor General has, since 1981, featured the crest of the Arms of Canada on a blue background.[33][34]

Blazon

The heraldic blazon of Canada's coat of arms is:

Tierced in fesse the first and second divisions containing the quarterly coat following, namely, 1st Gules three lions passant guardant in pale or, 2nd, Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory gules, 3rd, Azure a harp or stringed argent, 4th, Azure, three fleurs-de-lis or, and the third division Argent three maple leaves conjoined on one stem proper. And upon a Royal helmet mantled argent doubled gules the Crest, that is to say, On a wreath of the colours argent and gules a lion passant guardant or imperially crowned proper and holding in the dexter paw a maple leaf gules. And for Supporters On the dexter a lion rampant or holding a lance argent, point or, flying therefrom to the dexter the Union Flag, and on the sinister A unicorn argent armed crined and unguled or, gorged with a coronet composed of crosses-patée and fleurs-de-lis a chain affixed thereto reflexed of the last, and holding a like lance flying therefrom to the sinister a banner azure charged with three fleurs-de-lis or; the whole ensigned with the Imperial Crown proper and below the shield upon a wreath composed of roses, thistles, shamrocks and lillies a scroll azure inscribed with the motto A mari usque ad mare.[18]

The circlet of the Order of Canada was added around the shield for limited use in 1987, and for general use in 1994.[2]

Symbolism

Element Description Image
Crown The coat of arms are surmounted by a rendition of St. Edward's Crown, which has been used in the coronations of Canada's monarchs. This element represents Canada's status as a constitutional monarchy headed by a sovereign king or queen.[3] This style of crown is that preferred by Queen Elizabeth II, and was modernised in 1957 from the 1921 design, which used the Tudor crown.[9][17]
Canadian Crown.svg
Crest The crest is based on the Royal Crest of the United Kingdom but differenced by the addition of a maple leaf,[9] and symbolises the sovereignty of Canada.[35] It appears on the flag of the Governor-General,[35] symbolising that the Governor General is a representative of the Sovereign. The crest consists of a crowned gold lion standing on a twisted wreath of red and white silk and holding a maple leaf in its right paw.
Canadian Crest.svg
Helm The arms show a royal helmet, which is a barred helm of gold looking outward, with mantling of white and red, stylised in the official version to look like maple leaves.[36]
Canadian Helm.svg
Shield The shield is divided into five sections. The first division at the viewer's top left contains the three golden lions that have been a symbol of England since at least the reign of King Richard I.[37] The second quarter bears the red lion rampant of Scotland in a double tressure border with fleurs-de-lis, used as a symbol of Scotland since at least the reign of William I. The third quarter shows the Irish harp of Tara. The gold fleurs-de-lis of royal France, the first post-medieval European emblem raised in Canada by Jacques Cartier, during his landing at Gaspé,[38] fill the fourth quarter.

The fifth charge, a sprig of red maple leaves at the bottom, is a distinctly Canadian symbol that became gradually identified with the country throughout the 19th century.[39] They were first proposed as a symbol in 1834, were established in 1868 on the arms of Quebec and Ontario and officially became the national emblem in 1965, with the proclamation of the Flag of Canada.[36] Initially, the leaves were depicted as coloured green on the coat of arms because it was thought to represent youth, as opposed to the red colour of dying leaves in autumn.[9] However, they are blazoned as "proper," so could be shown as either red or green, and it is the blazon, rather than any depiction, which is regarded as authoritative.[17] The leaves were later redrawn in official depictions in 1957 with the current colour to be in line with the official colours of Canada. They are further stylized in that natural maple leaves do not grow in sprigs of three. The shield forms the basis of the royal standard of Canada.[30]

Canadian Shield.svg
Ribbon The ribbon is marked desiderantes meliorem patriam, meaning "desiring a better country," which is the motto of the Order of Canada. This component was added by the Queen in 1987 on the advice of her Prime Minister.[2] With the patriation of oversight of arms to Canada through the Canadian Heraldic Authority the following year,[40] the constitution of the Order of Canada was amended to include entitlement by all recipients to encircle their own arms with the ribbon, if arms are granted to them.[41] Since 1994 the arms used by government ministers and institutions have slowly changed to reflect the new version with the ribbon.[9]
CcoaordreB.JPG
Motto The motto of Canada is in Latin a mari usque ad mare (From sea to sea), a part of Psalm 72:8.[42] This phrase was suggested by Joseph Pope, then-Under Secretary of State, when the Arms were redesigned in 1921.[19] The motto was originally used in 1906 on the head of the mace of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan.[42]

In March 2006, the premiers of Canada's three territories called for the amendment of the motto to better reflect the vast geographic nature of Canada's territory,[43] as Canada has coastlines on the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. Two suggestions for a new motto are A mari ad mare ad mare (from sea to sea to sea) and A mari usque ad maria (from the sea to the other seas).[44][45]

Canadian Motto.svg
Supporters Supporting the shield on either side are the English lion and Scottish unicorn, which are also the supporters of the UK coat of arms.[19] The English lion[9] stands on the viewer's left and holds a gold-pointed silver lance flying the Union Flag. The Scottish unicorn[9] has a gold horn, a gold mane, gold hooves, and around its neck a gold, chained coronet of crosses and fleurs-de-lis; it holds a lance flying the three gold fleurs-de-lis of royal France on a blue background.[19] Unlike the British version, the lion is not crowned, nor is it facing the viewer. The broken chain on the unicorn symbolises the unicorn's resistance to oppression.[9]
CcoasupportersB.JPG
Compartment The entire coat of arms rests on the compartment, which is made up of the floral emblems of the founding countries[9] whose royal arms were incorporated into the design of the shield.[19] The Tudor rose is the floral badge of England (and Wales), combining the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster.[19] The thistle and shamrock are the symbols of Scotland and Ireland, respectively, while the fleur-de-lis has been the royal symbol of France since the 12th century.[19][46]
Canadian Compartment.svg

Legal

The coat of arms is protected under the Trade-marks Act, which states that "No person shall adopt in connection with a business, as a trade-mark or otherwise, any mark consisting of, or so nearly resembling as to be likely to be mistaken for,... the arms, crest or flag adopted and used at any time by Canada..."[47]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b c d Parliamentary Debates, Commons, 5 December 1995, columns 1410–1415
  3. ^ a b Military Police Complaints Commission. "The Commission > Publications > Outlook With Vision: Annual Report 2001". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://www.mpcc-cppm.gc.ca/300/3000/2001/menu-eng.aspx. Retrieved 28 June 2009. 
  4. ^ Bank of Canada. "Currency Museum > Learning Centre". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://www.bankofcanada.ca/currencymuseum/eng/learning/coins_mapleleaf.php. Retrieved 28 June 2009. 
  5. ^ Reynolds, Ken, Pro Valore: Canada's Victoria Cross (2 ed.), Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada, p. 40, http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/pub/boo-bro/vc-cv/doc/vc-cv-eng.pdf, retrieved 31 July 2009 
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  7. ^ Bousfield, Arthur; Toffoli, Gary (2002). Fifty Years the Queen. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 35. ISBN 1-55002-360-8. http://books.google.ca/books?id=w8l5reK7NjoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false. 
  8. ^ "The Coat of Arms of Canada - A Short History". Royal Heraldry Society of Canada. http://www.heraldry.ca/misc/coatArmsCanada.htm. Retrieved 28 June 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Royal Heraldry Society of Canada: The Coat of Arms". RHSC. http://www.heraldry.ca/misc/coatArmsCanada.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
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  11. ^ "RSNL1990 CHAPTER C-20 - COAT OF ARMS ACT". Earl G. Tucker, Queen's Printer. 2006. http://www.assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/c20.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
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  17. ^ a b c d e Fraser, Alistair B (1998-01-30). "Chapter I, Canada's National Symbols". The Flags of Canada. http://fraser.cc/FlagsCan/Nation/NatSym.html. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  18. ^ a b "Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Promotion - The arms of Canada". Canadian Heritage. 2008-06-23. http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/cpsc-ccsp/sc-cs/arm1_e.cfm. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g "Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Promotion - The arms of Canada (page 2)". Canadian Heritage. 2008-06-23. http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/cpsc-ccsp/sc-cs/arm2_e.cfm. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  20. ^ "Symbols of Canada". Canadian Heritage. 2008. pp. 6. http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/cpsc-ccsp/sc-cs/symboles-histoire-symbols-stories/symbole_canada_symbols-eng.pdf. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  21. ^ "Coat of arms ignores aboriginal people, MP says". CBC News. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2008/06/20/coat-arms.html. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
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  24. ^ "The Speaker - House of Commons Canada - Welcome". Parliament of Canada. http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/House/Speaker/index_e.html. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  25. ^ "Library of Parliament - Canadian Symbols at Parliamen". Parliament of Canada. http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/education/cansymbols/galleries/parliament/coa-e.asp. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
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  27. ^ "Check to Protect". Bank of Canada / Banque du Canada. http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/banknotes/education/pdf/91-b-l(01-08)_booklet_en.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
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  29. ^ "Passport Canada: Features of the Passport". Passport Canada. http://www.pptc.gc.ca/pptc/specifications.aspx?lang=eng. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  30. ^ a b Fraser, Alistair B (1998-01-30). "Chapter II, Canada's Head of State". The Flags of Canada. http://fraser.cc/FlagsCan/Nation/StateHead.html. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
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  32. ^ Flags of the World (February 2004). "Canadian Coat of Arms flag". http://flagspot.net/flags/ca_coa.html. Retrieved 2007-04-14. 
  33. ^ "Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Promotion - Personal Flags and Standards". Minister of Public Works and Government Services. http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/cpsc-ccsp/sc-cs/o7_e.cfm. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  34. ^ "Symbols of the Governor General". Rideau Hall. http://www.gg.ca/heraldry/emb/index_e.asp. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  35. ^ a b "Symbols of the Governor General". Rideau Hall. http://www.gg.ca/heraldry/emb/index_e.asp. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
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  37. ^ "Royal Arms of Britain". Heraldica.org. http://www.heraldica.org/topics/britain/royalarm.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  38. ^ "The History of Heraldry in Canada". Royal Heraldry Society of Canada. 28 April 2004. http://www.heraldry.ca/top_en/top_historyHer.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  39. ^ "Symbols of Canada". Canadian Heritage. 2008. pp. 9. http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/cpsc-ccsp/sc-cs/symboles-histoire-symbols-stories/symbole_canada_symbols-eng.pdf. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  40. ^ "The Canadian Heraldic Authority". Canadian Heraldic Authority. 2005-09-27; updated 2006-06-14. http://www.gg.ca/heraldry/cha/index_e.asp. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  41. ^ "The Constitution of the Order of Canada". Governor General of Canada. 2005-12-06. http://www.gg.ca/honours/nat-ord/oc/oc-con_e.asp. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  42. ^ a b Lamb, W. Kaye. "A Mari usque ad Mare". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Foundation of Canada. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0000001. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  43. ^ Andrew Chung (2007-10-28). "TheStar.com | Ideas | Time to herald our northern coast?". Thestar.com. http://www.thestar.com/News/Ideas/article/271165. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  44. ^ Deveau, Scott (2006-09-03). "From sea to sea to sea". Theglobeandmail.com. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060309.wmotto0309/BNStory/National/home. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  45. ^ CBC News. "'To sea' or not 'to sea': that is the question". Cbc.ca. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/03/10/northern-motto060310.html. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  46. ^ Lewis, Philippa; Darley, Gillian (1986). Dictionary of Ornament. Pantheon. ISBN 0394509315. OCLC 978-0394509310. 
  47. ^ Trade-marks Act, R.S.C. 1985, chap. T-13, section 9, sub. 1(e) (Trade-marks Act at Department of Justice Canada)

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