Coat of Arms

Armorial Bearings

Granted to the Royal Province of Nova Scotia in 1625 by King Charles I.

The blue cross on a white (or silver) background is a reversal of the Cross of Saint Andrew. The Royal Lion is set within a double red border against a yellow or gold background.

During the English Civil War (which began in 1642), records of the Ancient Arms of Nova Scotia were lost along with the loss of the Lyon Register and were not re-entered by the Lyon Court until 1805. In 1868, following Confederation, new Arms were granted to Nova Scotia. Rather bland in comparison to the Ancient Arms, resistance to the new Arms grew. Finally, in 1921, which marked the tricentennial of Nova Scotia's Royal Charter, historians and scholars met in Annapolis Royal where they petitioned the provincial government to have the Ancient Arms of Nova Scotia reinstated. In response to the petition, King George V granted the reinstatement of the Ancient Arms by Royal Warrant in 1929.

Coat of Arms

Granted to the Royal Province of Nova Scotia in 1625 by King Charles I. Nova Scotia's Coat of Arms is the oldest in all the Commonwealth countries outside of Great Britain.

The Shield is topped by a gold royal helmet set against a blue and silver mantle which represents the royal cloak. Above the helm rest two hands - one armoured, the other bare - clasped in friendship. The sprig of laurel above the armoured hand represents peace. The thistle above the bare hand represents Scotland. A possible interpretation of this is a vow by the King of the Scots to protect his subjects. A royal unicorn supports the shield on the left side while an early representation of a North American Native supports the right. The bouquet of Mayflowers (official flower of Nova Scotia) was added to the Bearings in 1929.

The Motto, MUNIT HAEC ET ALTERA VINCIT, which translates as 'One Conquers and the Other Defends', is unique in Canadian Coats of Arms in that the banner is placed above the Arms - a common practice in Scotland.