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.
Gary Allan Mitchell
Victoria, British Columbia
Grant of Arms, Flag and Badge
December 15, 2004
Vol. IV, p. 417
[ previous page ]
Gules fretty semé of billets Argent and keys Or;
A sea otter flotant Argent semé of ermine spots Azure bearing in its forepaws a mascle Gules;
Red and white are the national colours of Canada and of Poland, the ancestral land of the family of Mr. Mitchell’s mother. The interlaced pattern of white bands is a reference to a gridiron, the traditional symbol for St. Lawrence, patron saint of archives, thus referring to Mr. Mitchell’s position as provincial archivist of British Columbia. The narrow white rectangles symbolize documents and boxes of historic files, underlining the reference to archives. The keys represent two main aspects of archival science, stewardship of historic records and the unlocking of knowledge based on research in such records.
The sea otter, being used in Canadian heraldry for the first time, is a reference to an important element of the 19th century fur trade centred at the Hudson Bay Company post at Fort Langley, which is very close to Mr. Mitchell’s birthplace. The mascle, or voided lozenge, appears frequently in Scottish coats of arms borne by persons with the surname Mitchell, and thus honours the Scottish heritage of Mr. Mitchell’s father. The use of blue and white for the sea otter alludes to the main colours in the arms of British Columbia, Mr. Mitchell’s home province.