Coat of arms of Bermuda

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Coat of arms of Bermuda.svg

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 Great Britain and alludes to Bermuda's relationship with that country. The Latin motto under the coat of arms, Quo Fata Ferunt, means "Whither the Fates Carry [Us]".[1] The wrecked ship is the Edward Bonavetura[dubious ]. On 1591, April 10, three ships sailed from Plymouth, England for the East Indies. They were the Penelope, Merchant Royal and Edward Bonaventura. In the latter was English seaman named Henry May, transferred by his captain, James Lancaster, to a French vessel. The French ship was under the command of M. de la Barbotiere. On 1593, November 30, Captain de la Barbotiere sailed from Laguna, Hispaniola, and on December 17, seventeen days after leaving Laguna, Captain de la Barbotiere and his pilots passed the Isle of Devils or Bermuda and thought they were out of dangers way. They got their wine of height for a safe latitude, drank long and deep, with a minimal deck watch, but erred severely in their navigation. At midnight on December 17, the ship struck the north-west reefs of Bermuda and was so badly damaged that out of fifty five men, only twenty six reached the shore alive. Henry May and Captain de la Barbotiere were among the survivors. It is the wreck of this French ship on the Bermuda coat of arms.[2] The crew cut down Bermuda cedar trees and built a seaworthy craft of eighteen tons. They caulked her seams with lime salvaged from the ship and oil extracted from local turtles they caught for food. They ate turtle meat fish, birds - and wild hogs.

In the twentieth century[when?], 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[when?]. 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[3] when the badge was approved by the Admiralty.

The heraldic blazon is: Argent, on a mount vert a lion sejant affronté gules supporting between the fore-paws an antique shield azure thereon a representation of the wreck of the ship Sea Venture proper.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lot more to our Island's motto | The Royal Gazette:Bermuda Letters to the Editor". The Royal Gazette. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  2. ^ "Bermuda Online".
  3. ^ "Bermuda". Retrieved 2017-10-13.

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