National symbols of Canada

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

National symbols of Canada are the symbols that are used in Canada and abroad to represent the country and its people. Prominently, the use of the maple leaf as a Canadian symbol dates back to the early 18th century, and is depicted on its current and previous flags, the penny, and on the coat of arms (or royal arms).

The Crown symbolizes the Canadian monarchy,[1] and appears on the coat of arms (used by parliamentarians and government ministries), the flag of the Governor General,[1] the coats of arms of many provinces and territories; the badges of several federal departments, the Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Military College of Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), many regiments, and other police forces; on buildings, as well as some highway signs and licence plates. Also, the Queen's image appears in Canadian government buildings, military installations and schools; and on Canadian stamps, $20 bank notes, and all coins.

List of symbols[edit]

Canada does not have a floral emblem,[2] and none of the tartan, maple leaf, or Great Seal emblems are official symbols.[3]

Symbol Image Declared
National flag[4] Flag of Canada.svg February 15, 1965
Royal standard[1] Royal Standard of Canada.svg Royal Crest on a blue field adopted September 1961
Viceregal standard
Flag of the Governor-General of Canada.svg
Adopted 1980
Royal cypher[1] Royal Cypher of Queen Elizabeth II.svg 1952
Royal arms[4][5] November 21, 1921 (current version 1994)
Great Seal[3] Great Seal of Canada.png November 14, 1955 (current version)[6]
National anthem[4] O Canada.svg
"O Canada"
"O Canada"
July 1, 1980 (song dates to 1880)
Royal anthem[1] Gstk.png
"God Save the Queen"
"God Save the Queen"
1867 (song dates to 1744)
A Mari Usque Ad Mare
(From sea to sea)
November 21, 1921
National colours[4]



November 21, 1921 by order of King George V
National tree[4] Bi-colored Maple Tree.jpg
Additional national symbol[3] Autumn leaves (pantone) crop.jpg
Maple leaf
c. 1860
National animals[4] Castor canadensis.jpg
IMG 3351 M trot.jpg
Canadian horse
National sport[4][7] Lacrosse dive shot.jpg
Lacrosse (summer)
May 12, 1994
Ottawa 67s v Sudbury Wolves Sep 30 2004.jpg
Ice hockey (winter)
May 12, 1994
National tartan[4] Maple leaf tartan.png
Maple Leaf Tartan
March 9, 2011

National bird[edit]

In 2015, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society launched a National Bird Project in order to declare a national bird in time for Canada's sesquicentennial in 2017.[8] In November 2016 they selected the Grey jay (formerly known as the Canada jay) and lobbied the government to make it an official national symbol before the end of 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Crown in Canada". Department of Canadian Heritage. Archived from the original on 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  2. ^ "Floral Emblems of Canada – A Bouquet". Canadian Heritage. 21 March 2009. Archived from the original on 30 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  3. ^ a b c "Other symbols of Canada". The Department of Canadian Heritage. Archived from the original on 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Official symbols of Canada". The Department of Canadian Heritage. Archived from the original on 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  5. ^ "The arms of Canada". Department of Canadian Heritage. Archived from the original on 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  6. ^ "Great Seal of Canada". Archived from the original on 15 January 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  7. ^ "National Sports of Canada Act, CHAPTER N-16.7". Code of Canada. Government of Canada. 12 May 1994. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012.
  8. ^ "The National Bird Project - Canadian Geographic". Canadian Geographic. Archived from the original on 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2017-01-24.

Further reading[edit]

  • Department of Canadian Heritage (2002). Symbols of Canada. Ottawa, ON: Queen's Printer for Canada. ISBN 0-660-18615-2.
  • Ross, David; Hook, Richard (1988). The Royal Canadian Mounted Police 1873–1987. London: Osprey. ISBN 0-85045-834-X.
  • Hutchins, Donna; Hutchins, Nigel (2006). The Maple Leaf Forever: A Celebration of Canadian Symbols. Erin: The Boston Mills Press. ISBN 978-1-55046-474-0.

External links[edit]