The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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.

City of Abbotsford

Abbotsford, British Columbia
Grant of Arms, Supporters, Flag and Badge
October 25, 1995
Vol. III, p. 59

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



Vert a cross and saltire merged Or voided Azure and overall in centre point a bezant charged with a strawberry flower proper;


Issuant from a mural coronet Gules masoned Argent bearing a frieze of alternating maple leaves and mullets Argent a representation of a northwest coast First Peoples thunderbird Or edged Sable embellished Gules;


On a grassy mound Vert set with a strawberry plant between daffodils proper and rising above barry wavy Argent Azure and Argent two lions Or armed langued and gorged with collars the rim heightened with raspberries all Gules;




A banner of the Arms;


A strawberry flower Or winged in the style of a northwest coast First Peoples thunderbird each wing consisting of five feathers alternately Azure and Vert;



The gold disc and cross symbolize Abbotsford, known as the “hub” of the Fraser Valley. The strawberry flower is the fraise of the Fraser clan, and is a reference to Simon Fraser, the namesake of the valley. With the amalgamation of the Districts of Abbotsford and Matsqui in January 1995, a primary colour of the former Abbotsford arms was changed from blue to green to reflect the dominant colour taken from the Matsqui arms. The green is also a reference to the rich agricultural lands, meadows and forests associated with the City of Abbotsford.


The mural coronet denotes that these are the arms of a municipality. The red masonry is a reference to the Clayburn brick industry. The band of white stars and maple leaves honour the City of Abbotsford as an historic gateway to the international border with the United States of America. The thunderbird is taken from the crest of the District of Matsqui and commemorates the unique culture and contribution made by the First Nations from the area.


The lions represent the multicultural heritage of Abbotsford’s citizens. They are made distinctive to the City of Abbotsford by their collars featuring raspberries coronets, a reference to the abundant raspberry growing industry. The lions stand on a grassy mound referring to the lands of the City. The daffodils represent its floral riches, and the strawberry flowers allude to the market gardens as well as specialized agricultural production. The wavy bands representing water symbolize the rivers and other bodies of water in the City of Abbotsford.


UNUS CUM VIRIBUS DUORUM, meaning “One with the strength of two”, was the motto of the District of Abbotsford. This Latin phrase represents the strength derived from two separate municipalities becoming one.


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


The strawberry flower repeats the themes of the shield. The wings attached to the fraise are based on the thunderbird’s wings in the crest and symbolize upward movement, progress towards goals and the community’s annual showcasing of air transport and technology. The alternating Abbotsford “blue” and Matsqui “green” represent the unification of the two former communities into one municipality. The flower’s gold colouring suggests the various riches of the City.


Canada Gazette Information

The announcement of the Letters Patent was made on November 23, 1996, in Volume 130, page 3279 of the Canada Gazette.

Artist Information

Original concept of the City of Abbotsford and Robert D. Watt, Chief Herald of Canada, assisted by the heralds of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

Joan Bouwmeester

Joan Bouwmeester

Recipient Information

Civil Institution
Regional, Municipal etc Government