Supreme Court of Canada receives new heraldic emblems

March 15, 2021

OTTAWA—Today, the recently created emblems of the Supreme Court of Canada were unveiled by the Chief Herald of Canada, Dr. Samy Khalid, at a small ceremony in the presence of the Right Honourable Richard Wagner, Chief Justice of Canada, and Ms. Chantal Carbonneau, the Court’s Registrar Designate.

The heraldic emblems created for the Supreme Court are a visual expression of its role, traditions and the principle of judicial independence and, at the same time, they embody the ideas of harmony and collegiality. The white background of the main badge conveys the ideals of transparency and accessibility, and the two vertical red stripes represent parallel paths, such as the Court’s bilingual and bijural traditions. The stripes also recall the principles of peace and mutual respect embodied by the two-row wampum belt in the traditions of many of the First Peoples. These new emblems replace the Supreme Court’s use of the Arms of Canada, which are also used by the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

Immediately following the ceremony, Chief Justice Wagner raised the new flag of the Court on the eastern flagpole outside the Supreme Court building in Ottawa.

For additional information about the ceremony such as video footage, speeches and emblems, please visit the Supreme Court of Canada website.

Official photographs of the event are available to the media upon request by contacting the Rideau Hall Press Office.


“It is with great pride that I present to the highest court in Canada its own badges and flag. These new heraldic emblems express the identity of the Supreme Court: they tell the story of its past, present and future with poise and elegance.”

Samy Khalid, Chief Herald of Canada

Quick facts:

  • The governor general is the head of the Canadian Heraldic Authority, which is the federal service responsible for creating heraldic emblems.
  • Emblems such as coats of arms, flags and badges have existed for centuries, and serve to identify a person or an organization in a simple and elegant way while conveying a sense of history, permanence and authority.
  • Emblems can be used in a variety of ways to visually represent an organization’s identity, symbolizing the essential values of a person or organization.
  • The work of the Canadian Heraldic Authority in designing and regulating coats of arms, flags and badges is done by officers known as heralds. Every year, hundreds of emblems are created or recorded for Canadian individuals, corporate bodies and military units.
  • The official creation of coats of arms, flags and badges can take up to two years and are provided in a document on which the emblems are painted by hand, accompanied by text inscribed in calligraphy.
  • The Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada provides an extensive record of historical and current heraldic emblems in Canada.

Media information:
Rideau Hall Press Office

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