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Canadian Heraldic Authority (CHA)

 

Arms and Badges - Municipal Arms


Slide your mouse over the arms to reveal the municipal armorial bearings displayed

Introduction

This presentation of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada (RHSC) was developed to encourage Canadian municipalities to apply to the Canadian Heraldic Authority (CHA) for a grant of a coat of arms. While many Canadian municipalities, such as Victoria, Peace River, Brockville, Ottawa, and St. John’s have already received a grant of arms, others may have not availed themselves of this incomparable means of creating a distinctive symbol for their communities.

Why a coat of arms rather than a logo[ 1 ]?

Although many municipalities have adopted identifiable logos as part of their civic strategy, a logo frequently fails to provide the benefits of a coat of arms. These benefits include:

  1. Protection Provision of a Coat of Arms by the Canadian Heraldic Authority provides a permanent "brand" for your community that is protected and defensible under Canadian law. The Authority is an office of the Governor General of Canada and the grant emanates from the Canadian Crown
  2. Permanence While logos come and go, a grant of arms provides a permanent and enduring symbol of municipal pride and identity. A carefully chosen design becomes a reflection not only of a municipality’s past, but of its promise for the future.
  3. The Full Coat of Arms Unlike a logo, a coat of arms provides a broad range of colours and symbols with opportunities to reflect the character, history and geography of your municipality. This ensures inclusiveness and affords the opportunity to reflect the multifaceted nature of your municipality.
  4. The Badge Municipalities normally include a badge in their grant of arms that can entirely fulfil the requirements of a logo. In fact, it is the heraldic equivalent of a logo. The badge is typically a simple device, for use where simplicity is appropriate. This feature combines the simple clarity of a logo with the permanence and legal registration of a grant of arms.
  5. The Flag A grant to a municipality normally includes a distinctive flag.
  6. The Cost A full grant of arms, including the coat of arms, badge and flag, rarely costs, more than $5,000, including design, registration, artwork and calligraphy – much less than the cost of a logo, which can reach $50,000 or more.
  7. Authority Finally, an official grant of arms is an emblem of authority, providing a strong statement of a municipality’s stature and image. It speaks to your municipality’s importance, permanence and history.

We encourage your community to join the many others in our great country to be represented by a permanent and official device – a coat of arms, along with its derivatives of badge and flag.


  1. A logo (abbreviation of logotype is a graphic mark, emblem or symbol commonly used by commercial enterprises and organizations to aid and promote instant public recognition. Wikipedia. Last accessed: March 12, 2017.

Municipal Arms for the Province of Alberta

The armorial bearings of Alberta [1]

Introduction