Coat of Arms of Nova Scotia
The coat of arms of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada, officially the Arms of Her Majesty in Right of the Province of Nova Scotia, is the oldest provincial achievement of arms in Canada, and the oldest British coat of arms outside Great Britain. It was granted in 1625 by King Charles I for the first British colony on the Canadian mainland. The arms were also borne by the Baronets of Nova Scotia, a chivalric order.
The shield, a blue saltire on a white field, is a simple reversal of the Scottish flag (a white saltire, Saint Andrew's cross, on a blue field). It is also charged with an inescutcheon bearing the royal arms of Scotland, a gold shield with a red rampant lion in a double border decorated with fleurs de lis.
The crest is referred to in the motto, placed above the shield in a Scottish tradition, which reads Munit haec et altera vincit (One [hand] defends and the other conquers).
The supporters are the unicorn from the royal arms of Scotland which is now borne by the British monarchy, and a member of the Mi'kmaq First Nation indigenous to Nova Scotia, who in the heraldic language of the 17th century was blazoned a "savage."
The compartment includes thistles as well as the trailing arbutus or mayflower, the floral emblem of Nova Scotia, added when the arms were reassumed in 1929.
Former coat of arms
Former Nova Scotia coat of arms
The old arms having been forgotten by Confederation in 1867, a new coat of arms was prepared. This had a salmon on a blue band between three thistles, on a gold field. When the old coat of arms was rediscovered, pressure to restore it grew, and it was reassumed in 1929, with the newer coat being abandoned.
The 1867-1929 shield may be blazoned Or, on a fess wavy azure a salmon between three thistles slipped and leaved proper.
The current coat is blazoned as follows:
- Argent a cross of St. Andrew Azure charged with an escutcheon of the Royal Arms of Scotland.
(Note: The Royal Arms of Scotland are, in turn, blazoned Or a lion rampant within a double tressure fleury-counter-fleury gules.)
- The crest: On a wreath of the colours, a branch of laurel and a thistle issuing from two hands conjoined the one being armed and the other naked all proper.
- The supporters: On the dexter an Unicorn Argent armed crined and unguled Or, and gorged with a Coronet composed of crosses patee and fleurs-de-lis, a chain affixed thereto passing through the forelegs and reflexed over the back Gold. And on the sinister a Savage holding in the exterior hand an arrow.
- The motto: Munit haec et altera vincit.