The Canadian coat of arms was granted by King George V in 1921. It combines the national symbols of England, Scotland, Ireland, and pre-revolutionary France, as the so-called founding nations with Canadian symbols like the maple leaf.

It has five parts: a shield, held up by two supporters, with a helmet, crest and crown on top. Below the shield is a banner bearing a motto, and underneath that a floral emblem. Since that description is sort of hard to visualize, here is a diagram:

 s1 shield s2
floral emblems
The Shield

The a shield divided into five pieces like so:

1 2
3 4
The first piece has the Royal symbol of England, three gold lions walking and facing outward, on a red background. Piece two has the Scottish Lion, a red lion rearing within a red double border on a gold background. The next piece is the Royal Irish harp, gold on a blue background. The fourth piece is the Royal Fleurs-de-lis of France. And finally, the area at the bottom has three maple leaves on a single stem. These symbols represent the four founding nations of Canada plus the fifth for anyone else not in the other catagories.

The shield is supported on the left by a lion, and on the right by a unicorn. The unicorn has a chained coronet decorated with crosses and fleurs-de-lis around its neck. Both hold lances vertically along side the shield, each with a banner at the end. The banners are the Royal Union (Union Jack) and French Royal, respectively.

The Helmet, Crest, and Crown

The Canadian helmet is a royal helmet in gold with bars over the face. It is decorated with a mantle of red and white maple leaves. Over the helmet is the crest, a lion facing out wearing a crown and holding up a maple leaf. At the very top of the arms is the Imperial crown of the British Empire.

The Motto and Floral Emblem

The motto, "A Mari usque ad Mare", is presented on an unfurled banner, underneath the shield. The motto is latin for "From sea to sea", and is inspired by the bible passage, "He shall have dominion from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth" (Psalm 72:8).

The floral emblem once again combines the nation symbols of the founding nations: the English rose, Scottish thistle, Irish shamrock, and French lily, or fleurs-de-lis, are intertwined at the bottom of the arms.

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