National symbols of Canada

National symbols of Canada
Culture of Canada
This article is part of a series
Canadian identity
Canadian nationalism
Royal symbols
National symbols
Cultural protectionism
Multiculturalism in Canada
Ethnic origins
Official bilingualism
Spoken languages
Architecture · Bibliography
Art · Cinema
Cuisine · Festivals · Humour
Literature · Media · Music
Politics · Religion
Sports · Television · Theatre

National symbols of Canada are the symbols that are used in Canada and abroad to represent the country and its people. Prominently, the use of the maple leaf as a Canadian symbol dates back to the early 18th century, and is depicted on its current and previous flags, the penny, and on the coat of arms (or royal arms).

The Crown symbolizes the Canadian monarchy,[1] and appears on the coat of arms (used by parliamentarians and government ministries), the flag of the Governor General,[1] the coats of arms of many provinces and territories; the badges of several federal departments, the Canadian Forces, Royal Military College of Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), many regiments, and other police forces; on buildings, as well as some highway signs and licence plates. Also, the Queen's image appears in Canadian government buildings, military installations and schools; and on Canadian stamps, $20 bank notes, and all coins.


Common symbols

The maple leaf is the characteristic leaf of the maple tree, and is an important national symbol of Canada.


Canada is known for its vast forests and mountain ranges and the animals that reside within them,[citation needed] such as moose, beaver, caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears, Canada Goose, Canada Lynx, and the common loon. The beaver's emblematic status originated from the fact much of Canada's early economic history was tied to the fur trade in beaver fur, used to make hats fashionable in Europe. Another reason for the beaver's status in Canadian heraldry is that it is symbolic of industry, due to its habit of constructing dams and lodges. Beavers appear on the reverse of Canadian nickels (5 cent piece).

The Canadian horse is an official Canadian symbol[2][3] and commonly appears in images with the Mounties. The Officer Cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada are normally represented in their distinctive scarlet uniform with a ceremonial sword or swagger stick.


Additional national symbols include the RCMP, Parliament Buildings[4] and anything pertaining to ice hockey, Canada's official winter sport, and lacrosse, Canada's official summer sport, which are often used as national symbols of unity and pride.[3]


Products made from the country's natural resources that are unique or easily available to the country, such as bitumen, are also associated with Canadian identity.

In recent years, other symbols have become a source of pride: notably, the I Am Canadian campaign by Molson beer, most notably the commercial featuring Joe Canadian, infused domestically-brewed beer with nationalism, creating irony when Molson later merged with the American beer company Coors. The Canadian fashion retailer Roots sells a variety of merchandise designed to evoke nationalistic sentiment.

List of symbols

Symbol image Declared
Royal Standard[1] Royal Standard of Canada.svg September 1961
National flag[3] Flag of Canada.svg February 15, 1965
Royal Union Flag[5][1] Flag of the United Kingdom.svg February 15, 1965
Royal Arms[3][6] Coat of arms of Canada.svg November 21, 1921
Great Seal[4] Great Seal of Canada.jpg 1952
Royal cypher[1] Royal-Cypher-Eliz-2-Gold.svg 1952
Royal Anthem[1] Gstk.png
"God Save the Queen"
1867 (song dates to 1744)
National anthem[3] O Canada.svg
"O Canada"
July 1, 1980 (song dates to 1880)
A Mari Usque Ad Mare
(From sea to sea)
November 21, 1921
National colours[3]



November 21, 1921
Tree[3] Bi-colored Maple Tree.jpg
Floral emblem[4] Autumn leaves (pantone) crop.jpg
Maple leaf
c. 1860
Animal[3] Castor canadensis.jpg
IMG 3351 M trot.jpg
Canadian horse
National sport[3][7] Lacrosse dive shot.jpg
Lacrosse (summer)
May 12, 1994
Ottawa 67s v Sudbury Wolves Sep 30 2004.jpg
Ice hockey (winter)
May 12, 1994
Tartan[3] Maple leaf tartan.png
Maple Leaf Tartan
March 9, 2011

See also


  • Department of Canadian Heritage (2002). Symbols of Canada. Ottawa, ON: Queen's Printer for Canada. ISBN 0-660-18615-2. 
  • Ross, David; Hook, Richard (1988). The Royal Canadian Mounted Police 1873-1987. London: Osprey. ISBN 0-85045-834-X. 
  • Hutchins, Donna; Hutchins, Nigel (2006). The Maple Leaf Forever: A Celebration of Canadian Symbols. Erin: The Boston Mills Press. ISBN 978-1550464740. 


  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Crown in Canada". Department of Canadian Heritage. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  2. ^ CanLII - Fédéral - S.C. 2002, c. 11 - National Horse of Canada Act
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Official symbols of Canada". The Department of Canadian Heritage. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  4. ^ a b c "Other symbols of Canada". The Department of Canadian Heritage. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  5. ^ "The Royal Union flag (Union Jack)". Department of Canadian Heritage. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  6. ^ "The arms of Canada". Department of Canadian Heritage. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  7. ^ "National Sports of Canada Act, CHAPTER N-16.7". Code of Canada. Government of Canada. 12 May 1994. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • National Gallery of Canada — Established 1988 Location Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada …   Wikipedia

  • National parks of Canada — Canadian National Parks Mount Chephren and Waterfowl Lake in Banff National Park First Park Banff National Park, 1885 …   Wikipedia

  • National Geographic Channel (Canada) — For other uses, see National Geographic Channel (disambiguation). National Geographic Channel National Geographic Channel logo Launched August 15, 2001 Owned by …   Wikipedia

  • National Flag of Canada Day — The national flag of Canada Flag Day, officially named National Flag of Canada Day, is observed annually on February 15, commemorating the inauguration of the Flag of Canada on that date in 1965.[1] The day is marked by flying the flag,… …   Wikipedia

  • National symbols of Mexico — The national symbols of Mexico are the flag,the coat of arms and the national anthem .The flag is a vertical tricolor of green , white , and red. The coat of arms features a golden eagle eating a snake on top of a cactus. Contents 1 National flag …   Wikipedia

  • National symbols of Nicaragua — The national flag of Nicaragua National symbols of Nicaragua are the symbols that are used in Nicaragua and abroad to represent the country and its people. Contents 1 …   Wikipedia

  • National symbols of Scotland — The National symbols of Scotland include a diversity of official and unofficial images and other symbols. The distinctive Royal Stewart Tartan is the personal tartan of Queen Elizabeth II. The Flag of Scotland, the Saltire or St. Andrew s Cross,… …   Wikipedia

  • List of official United States national symbols — Symbols Flag of the United States Seal of the United States National bird: Bald Eagle National personification: Uncle Sam National Christmas tree: General Grant tree National creed: American s Creed National flower: Rose National tree: Oak… …   Wikipedia

  • Religion in national symbols — can often be found in national anthems. This has led to controversy in some countries in regard to the separation of church and state, when the national symbol is officially sanctioned by a government. Flags which incorporate symbols of religion… …   Wikipedia

  • Canada — This article is about the country. For other uses, see Canada (disambiguation). Canada …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”