National Symbols of Canada

As a country filled with patriotic citizens and immigrants alike, The Great White North (as it is commonly referred to) is very proud of the national symbols of Canada. They are celebrated them to no end. You never know when they might come up in conversation, so we here at decided that an overview of the national symbols of Canada could definitely come in handy when you relocate to this great country!


The Coat of Arms

Adopted in 1921 by a proclamation of King George V, this symbol was modified in 1994 by the addition of a ribbon boasting the motto of the Order of Canada, Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam or They Desire A Better Country, displayed at the bottom.

On the Coat of arms you will find the Fleurs-de-Lis of France, the three lions of England, the lion of Scotland (which looks much like a unicorn), and the Irish Harp of Tara. A lion with a crown holding a red maple leaf adorns the top of the coat of arms, and the Royal Union flag and the flag of Royal France frame the lion. Above it all, a large crown is an indication that this is the “arms of the Sovereign in right of Canada.” At the bottom you will notice the French lily, the English rose, the Scottish thistle and the Irish shamrock, standing as representations of the Canadian Monarchy.

The Flag

Representing Canada’s national colors of red and white, with an eleven-point maple leaf in the center, the Canadian flag is a symbol of this country and the era of Queen Victoria. The red and white pattern represents the flag of the Royal Military College and the General Service Medal Ribbon of 1899, which was an honor given to those who defended Canada in the battles of the 19th Century. This flag was adopted by the Senate in 1964, and Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed it would take effect on February 15 of the following year.  Since then, on this day, National Flag of Canada Day is observed country-wide.

The Canadian Motto

Taken from Psalm 72:8, the words that were chosen to represent Canada are A Mari Usque Ad Mare, or “From Sea to Sea.

National Sports of Canada

Ice Hockey was declared the official winter sport of Canada, and Lacrosse was declared the official summer sport of Canada by an act of Canadian Parliament in 1994.

The National Tree

Officially recognized as the tree of Canada in 1996, the maple tree is a proud symbol used by many to Canada as one of the world leaders in sustainable forest management.

The National Animal

In 1975 the Canadian Parliament dubbed the beaver the official emblem of Canada. Inods to the history of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Fur Trade. Historically, the beaver was stamped on a coin, known as a “buck,”, which was worth one male beaver pelt.

The National Anthem

“O Canada” was proclaimed as the country’s national anthem on July 1, 1980. There is a version with French lyrics that is sung in provinces such as Quebec. In French or English, the words of this anthem bring pride to the hearts of those who are native, and welcome those who have immigrated.

From all of us here at, Welcome to Canada!


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About Jerry

Before my family and I relocated to Canada where I received a teaching opportunity at one of the country’s renowned universities, my wife and kids were naturally full of questions. What would the schools be like? How does healthcare work? Is Canadian French very different than European French? What about Canadian English verses European English? How cold are those frigid northern winters we’ve heard so much about? The only way to fully understand a new city or country is to experience it first-hand. My family and I decided to embrace our relocation as an adventure. Years after the move, we still consider “The Great White North” our home, and we couldn’t be more satisfied with our quality of life here. // Avant que ma famille et moi-même soyons relocalisés au Canada parce que j’ai eu l’opportunité d’aller enseigner dans l’une des universités assez réputée du pays, ma femme et mes enfants avaient naturellement beaucoup de questions. A quoi ressemblent les écoles ? Comment fonctionne le système de santé ? Le français canadien est-il vraiment différent de celui parlé en France ? L’anglais canadien est-il vraiment différent de celui parlé en Europe? Est-ce que les hivers sont vraiment très rigoureux? La meilleure façon de comprendre entièrement une nouvelle ville et un pays est d’en faire personnellement l’expérience. Ma famille et moi avons décidé de voir la relocalisation comme une aventure. Quelques années plus tard, nous considérons “Le Grand Nord Blanc” comme notre maison et nous ne pourrions pas être plus satisfaits.