Coat of arms of Bermuda
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]”.
In the twentieth century, the coat of arms—without the banner holding the motto—was added to the Red ensign to create the distinguishing colonial flag (the national flag is the Union Jack, which appears in its upper, left corner), and on the Governor's Flag. The coat of arms features on the cover of the 1624 edition of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles (the Somers Isles is another name for Bermuda, commemorating Admiral Somers), by Captain John Smith.
The coat of arms replaced a badge which had been in use before 1910. The badge was based on a sketch, made in 1869, of the 1817 seal, which depicted a wet dock of the time showing with some boats in the background. It is assumed that the scene alludes to the fact that the islands were a stopover base for the sailing ships when the badge was approved by the Admiralty.