Cape Breton

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Province : New Brunswick
Additions : 1995 County of Cape Breton, Dominion, Louisbourg, Glace Bay, New Waterford, North Sydney, Sydney, Sydney Mines

Arms (crest) of Cape Breton

Official blazon

Arms: Vert within a double tressure erablé counter-erablé of eight Or a Cape Breton sloop Or, sails Argent, pennon Or
Crest: Issuant from a mural coronet Vert masoned Or its gate Gules with portcullis raised between two windows all Or a phoenix also Or head Argent beaked Or rising from flames Gules
Supporters: On a compartment of a quay of stone Argent masoned Sable curving away from the shield rising above barry wavy Azure and Argent enclosing a cape promontory set with fir trees Vert and mayflowers proper dexter a stallion Argent crined and unguled Sable gorged with a collar the rim set on and above with lozenges Sable pendant therefrom a torteau charged with a garb Or sinister a unicorn Argent armed, crined and unguled Or gorged with a collar rim set above with the ends of rails Gules pendant therefrom a torteau charged with a fiddle in saltire with a bow Or


The arms were officially granted on April 16, 1997.

The sail boat is a Cape Breton Sloop, and is an image used on the Great Seal of Cape Breton in 1820.

The double tressure reflects three things. First that it reflects the double tressure in the Nova Scotia arms. Second, that the eight maple leaves symbolise the eight incorporated municipalities which were amalgamated into the new municipality in 1997. Third, the maple leaves are to visually tell viewers that the arms are Canadian.

The colours, Vert and Or, reflect the Cape Breton Tartan and the colours of our hills, mountains and sunsets. The mural crown in the same colours reflects the tartan even more so.

The phoenix crest is of course the birth of the new municipality out of the ashes of the old.

The supporters also deal with the municipality's history. The horse symbolises both farming and the coal industry (the mines here at one time used pit ponies underground). The Unicorn again reflects Nova Scotia's armorial supporters. The gorging on the horse is a representation of a crown made of black lozenges, again reflecting the importance of coal in this area. The gorging around the neck of the unicorn is made of steel rails viewed from one of the ends and symbolises the steel industry of Sydney and Sydney Mines (two of the incorporated municipalities). Hanging from these collars are two torteaux, one charged with a garb (farming), the other with a fiddle and bow in saltire, symbolising the importance of culture to this island, especially our musicians who are world famous.
The compartment is a wall, representing Louisbourg (another of the incorporated municipalities) and the fortress there as well as the influence of the armed forces in this area. Beneath it is cape promontory with spruce trees, representing our forests and the forest related industries. Also strewn about the compartment are mayflowers, the provincial flower. All this is rising from barry wavy lines, symbolising that the municipality is both on several harbours and on an island.

The motto, A Community of Communities is self explanitory. The second motto, Fortunata Non Mutat Genus, translated as "Circumstance Does Not Change Our Origin" is an accurate motto for the municipality and was taken from the same Great Seal of Cape Breton.

Literature : Image and information from