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

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The Faculty of Divinity of the University of Trinity College

Toronto, Ontario
Grant of Arms and Badges
October 15, 2004
Vol. IV, p. 407

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



Quarterly Sable and Gules on a cross Argent between four stags trippant reguardant Or attired and unguled Argent, an open book Argent edged Or, bound and inscribed BUT IF THE SALT in letters Sable;




A stag trippant reguardant Or attired and unguled Argent supporting with the dexter foreleg a staff terminating in a cross Or flying therefrom a pennon Argent charged with a cross Gules;


On a roundel per fess Sable and Gules, an altar cross Argent;



The shield resembles a design assumed by Trinity University between 1889 and 1904, and carved as such on the east side of Henderson Tower at the college building. It uses, as a reference to the founder, the Rt. Rev. John Strachan, the form of a stag used in the grant to the University of Trinity College in 1988. Trinity University was a body established in 1889 by the University of Trinity College to grant degrees in seven faculties. The degree-granting powers in six faculties were eventually surrendered to the University of Toronto, but the fact that the Faculty of Divinity continues to grant degrees makes it the remnant of Trinity University, a situation reflected in this design. These arms recognize the venerable student tradition of “red and black” as college colours, with predominance given to black as a traditional clergy colour. At the centre, the open book makes a reference to the Holy Bible.


BUT IF THE SALT is taken from Matthew 5:13 (“but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted”), and forms an apt reply from the Faculty of Divinity and its students to the undergraduates at Trinity College, whose student cry, based on a phrase in the same biblical verse, begins with the words “We are the salt of the earth”. Following a tradition in academic heraldry, the motto is placed on a book that is part of the shield design.


The first badge is patterned after the Agnus Dei, a Christian symbol of a lamb bearing a cross and banner, but uses instead the stag from the arms. The flag serves to denote “bearing Christ” but in this particular form is also an historical reference to the flag of the Church of England and thus to Anglicanism.


The second badge uses the colours and a representation of the cross used on the altar of the Lady Chapel of the college. This cross has been used continuously since the earliest years of the college.


Canada Gazette Information

The announcement of the Letters Patent was made on March 12, 2005, in Volume 139, page 689 of the Canada Gazette.

Artist Information

Original concept of Robert Black, assisted by the Heralds of the Canadian Heraldic Authority

Linda Nicholson

Shirley Mangione

Recipient Information

Civil Institution
University Faculty, Department & College