The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
Heraldry Today

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does the Register contain?

The Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada contains the heraldic emblems (or Armorial Bearings) that have been granted, registered, approved or confirmed since the establishment of the Canadian Heraldic Authority on June 4, 1988.

The online Register will eventually contain the basic information and illustrations for all emblems recorded in the Public Register.

2. How often will the online Register be updated with new material?

The online Register will be updated several times a year, shortly after the publication of new Grants, Registrations, Approvals and Confirmations in the Canada Gazette.

3. Will Volumes I, II and III of the Public Register be posted on the online Register?

Yes. Records found in the first three volumes of the Public Register will gradually be added to the online Register.

4. May I reproduce the illustrations and content from this Register?

The contents of this Register are intended for research purposes only.

The heraldic emblems found in the Register may not be reproduced in any form or in any media without the written consent of the Canadian Heraldic Authority and/or the recipient.

5. Can I find my family's coat of arms in the Register?

In most heraldic traditions, there is actually no such concept as a "family coat of arms", meaning a coat of arms that can be used by all people with the same surname. A coat of arms is assigned to an individual and his or her descendants, generally with some form of differencing or modification for all but the senior descendant.

The heraldic emblems in the Register have, for the most part, been created since 1988. Some were created before that date and have subsequently been registered. All these heraldic emblems are to be borne by the recipients and their direct descendants or heirs only.

To discover if someone in your family line bore a coat of arms in the past, you would have to undertake genealogical research and investigate armorial records in other state heraldic authorities or archives.