The contents of this Register are intended for research purposes only. The heraldic emblems found in the Register may not be reproduced in any form or in any media without the written consent of the Canadian Heraldic Authority and/or the recipient.

Ottawa, Ontario
Registration of the Arms and Supporters of His Majesty the King in Right of Canada
September 15, 2022
Vol. VIII, p. 111

Arms of His Majesty the King in Right of Canada
Arms of His Majesty the King in Right of Canada
Arms of His Majesty the King in Right of Canada

Arms of His Majesty the King in Right of Canada


Tierced in fess, the first and second divisions quarterly, 1st Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or, 2nd Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules, 3rd Azure a harp Or stringed Argent, 4th Azure three fleurs-de-lis Or, and the third division Argent a sprig of three maple leaves proper;

The Arms are set on an annulus Gules edged and inscribed DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM in letters Or;


The sprig of three maple leaves represents all Canadians, the maple leaf having been used as a symbol of Canadian identity since the early 19th century. The other four sections are the three lions of England, the lion within a double tressure of fleurs-de-lis of Scotland, the harp of Ireland and the fleurs-de-lis of France.

The ring around the shield bears the Latin motto of the Order of Canada, commonly translated as “They desire a better country” (a more literal translation being “Those who desire a better country”), in reference to the members of the Order. This placement follows a tradition whereby a nation’s shield is shown with part of the insignia of its senior national order.



A lion passant guardant Or wearing the Royal Crown proper and holding a maple leaf Gules;

The whole Achievement of Arms is ensigned by the Royal Crown proper;


Derived from the royal crest of England, a gold lion wearing the Royal Crown, the crest of Canada includes a red maple leaf as a national symbol. Used on its own, the crest is the emblem of the Governor General of Canada.

Above the crest is the Royal Crown, indicating that these Arms are those of a monarch.





Meaning “From sea to sea,” this Latin phrase is taken from the biblical verse “He shall have dominion from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8). It alludes to the vastness of the geography of Canada.



Dexter a lion Or holding a lance Argent its point Or flying therefrom to the dexter the Royal Union Flag, sinister a unicorn Argent armed, crined and unguled Or, gorged of a coronet of crosses patté and fleurs-de-lis a chain affixed thereto and reflexed Or, holding a like lance flying therefrom to the sinister a banner Azure charged with three fleurs-de-lis Or, both standing on a scroll Azure edged and inscribed with the Motto in letters Or, above a wreath of roses, thistles, shamrocks and lilies proper;


The lion and the unicorn are inspired by the supporters of the royal arms of England and Scotland. The flags that they hold are the Royal Union Flag (Union Jack) and the royal banner of France respectively, an acknowledgement of the two countries from which Canada’s legal and governmental institutions are derived. The flowers at the base are also emblems of these nations: the Tudor rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the shamrock of Ireland, and the lily of France.



Canada Gazette Information

Since 2023, grants, registrations and approvals of heraldic emblems are no longer announced in the Canada Gazette.

Letters patent registering the heraldic emblems of Charles III, King of Canada

Additional Information


Original concept of the Government of Canada, assisted by the College of Arms, London.


Cathy Bursey-Sabourin


Not applicable

Recipient Type

Civil Institution
National (General)

Other Information

The recipient’s emblems were approved by Order in Council on 21 April 1921, and by Royal Proclamation on 21 November 1921.