The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
Heraldry Today

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.

Province of British Columbia

Victoria, British Columbia
Registration of Arms and Flag
April 17, 1990
Vol. II, p. 3

Click on each image to enlarge. The blazon and symbolism for each element will accompany the enlarged image.



Argent three bars wavy Azure issuant from the base over all a demi sun in splendour Or a chief of the Royal Union Flag charged in the centre with an antique crown Or;


The Royal Crest of the United Kingdom of Her Late Majesty Queen Victoria [Upon a Royal Crown proper a lion statant guardant Or royally crowned proper] differenced for Her Majesty and Her Sucessors reigning in right of British Columbia with the Lion thereof garlanded about the neck with Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttalli) flowers with leaves all Proper;


On the dexter side a Wapiti stag (Cervus canadensis) proper and on the sinister side a Bighorn Sheep ram (Ovis canadensis) Argent armed and unguled Or, both above Pacific Dogwood flowers slipped and leaved proper;




A banner the Arms;



The Royal Union Flag, with an antique crown in the centre, symbolizes the province’s origin as a British colony. The three wavy blue bars represent the Pacific Ocean. The sun signifies British Columbia’s location as the most westerly province in Canada.


The crowned lion – the Royal Crest of the United Kingdom – was used as the emblem of the province for many years. The lion is differenced by a garland of Pacific dogwoods, the provincial flower, around its neck.


A wapiti stag and a bighorn sheep represent the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. Together they represent the colonies’ union in 1866. They stand on a compartment of the provincial flower, the Pacific dogwood.


This Latin phrase means “Splendour without diminishment”. The motto refers to the sun on the shield, which, although setting, never decreases.


The symbolism of this emblem is found in other element(s) of this record.


Canada Gazette Information

The announcement of the Letters Patent was made on August 10, 1991, in Volume 125, page 2568 of the Canada Gazette.

Artist Information

Original concepts of Arthur John Beanlands; Ambrose Lee, York Herald (1906); and Conrad Swan, York Herald (1987), College of Arms, London.

Cathy Bursey-Sabourin

Nancy Ellis

Recipient Information

Civil Institution
Provincial & Territorial (General)

The arms were originally recorded in the records of the College of Arms, London, England, 31 March 1906.

The crest and supporters were originally recorded in the records of the College of Arms, London, England, 15 October 1987.