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.

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien

Ottawa, Ontario
Grant of Arms and Supporters
July 15, 2017
Vol. VI, p. 744

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



Gules a beehive Or with three bees Argent embellished Sable, in the canton the mark of the Prime Ministership of Canada (four maple leaves conjoined in cross) Argent;


Issuant from flames Or a phoenix wings elevated and addorsed Azure beaked and crested Gules holding in its beak an open scroll proper;


Two polar bears proper each charged on the shoulder with a Latin cross pendent from each crossbeam two balance pans Gules, standing on a rocky mount proper set with maple leaves Gules and fleurs-de-lis Azure and issuant from barry-wavy Argent and Azure;





The beehive, a symbol of work and of creativity in service to the community, represents Mr. Chrétien’s assiduous and hardworking nature. Red and white are the colours of Canada. Red is also the official colour of the Liberal Party of Canada, of which Mr. Chrétien was leader from 1990 to 2003. The maple leaves arranged in cross, the mark of the Prime Minister of Canada, indicate that Mr. Chrétien served in that capacity from 1993 to 2003.


The phoenix, a mythical animal that rises from its ashes, embodies Mr. Chrétien’s perseverance and the many achievements of his career. The scroll symbolizes the Constitution of Canada and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, two pillars of the Canadian political system at the heart of Mr. Chrétien’s achievements as Minister of Justice. It also represents his love of reading and of history.


The polar bears refer to Mr. Chrétien’s service as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and to his fondness for pieces of artwork depicting this majestic animal. The balances on their shoulders allude to Mr. Chrétien’s career as a lawyer and as Minister of Justice. They are suspended from crosses, which represent his Catholic faith and provide a canting reference to his surname, which means “Christian” in French. The maple leaves refer to Canada and his French-Canadian identity, and the fleurs-de-lis to his French origins. The waves refer to the Saint-Maurice River located in Mr. Chrétien’s hometown of Shawinigan


This Latin phrase means “Work to build”.


Canada Gazette Information

The announcement of the Letters Patent was made on March 31, 2018, in Volume 152, page 896 of the Canada Gazette.

Artist Information

Original concept of Manon Labelle, Miramichi Herald, assisted by the heralds of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

Cathy Bursey-Sabourin

Doris Wionzek

Recipient Information

Prime Minister