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Canadian Civic Heraldry


Origin/meaning :
On May 26, 1868, Queen Victoria assigned armorial bearings to New Brunswick, consisting of a shield of arms depicting a gold lion on a red background, and below it an ancient galley in the water with oars in action. The design was based in part on the first Great Seal of New Brunswick which featured a sailing ship on water. The lion alludes to the arms of the Duchy of Brunswick in Germany (two gold lions on a red field) which was a possession of King George III at the time the Province of New Brunswick was established in 1784.

On Sept. 25, 1984, at a public ceremony in Fredericton, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II signed a royal warrant granting augmentations to the provincial arms. The additions were all symbolic of New Brunswick and consist of a crest resting on a golden royal helmet over the shield, supporters on either side and a compartment below. They were granted by The Queen, in the words of the royal warrant, "for the greater honor and distinction" of New Brunswick and to mark the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the province in 1784.

The supporters on either side of the shield are white-tailed deer with antlers, each with a small shield or escutcheon suspended from a friendship collar of Maliseet wampum, the original of which is in the New Brunswick Museum. One shield bears the Union Badge representing the British connection in New Brunswick's history and the early English, Scots and Irish settlers; the other bears the Royal Arms of France, the symbol of public authority during the French regime, and refers to the French settlement in the province.

The compartment which bears the supporters and the shield is a grassy mound covered with the provincial flower, the purple violet, and the young ostrich fern or fiddlehead.

The motto, Spem Reduxit, taken from the first Great Seal of the Province, is at the base of the arms on a ribbon and can be translated as hope restored. This refers to the establishment of the province as a home for the refugee settlers, the United Empire Loyalists, whose arrival here prompted the creation of New Brunswick by the British government.

Literature : Image and information from here.

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