Snap Up a Souvenir of the Oldest Coat of Arms in Canada
That's right, people. The coat of arms of the province of Nova Scotia is the oldest provincial arms in all of the great country of Canada. It is also the oldest British coat of arms outside of Great Britain. King Charles I granted the coat of arms to Nova Scotia in 1625 for being the principal Scottish colony on the Canadian mainland. This Scottish territory was first settled by Sir William Alexander, a renowned Scottish explorer. The original coat of arms fell into disuse when Nova Scotia joined the Canadian Confederation in 1867. However, once the original coat of arms was rediscovered in 1929, it was restored as the official arms of Nova Scotia and remains to this day.
The Symbolism behind Nova Scotia's Coat of Arms
The shield you see above is located in the center of the coat of arms of Nova Scotia. The blue cross on a white background, also known as a saltire, is nothing more than the reversal of the Scottish flag, which consists of a white cross on a blue background. This cross is also known as Saint Andrew's cross, so named because Saint Andrew is said to have been martyred on a diagonal cross. In the middle of the blue cross, you can see a smaller gold shield emblazoned with a red lion in between a double border decorated with fleurs de lis (decorative lilies); this is the Royal arms of Scotland. The flag of Nova Scotia also depicts the blue Saint Andrew's cross with the Royal arms of Scotland in the middle. The motto of the province is, "Munit haec et altera vincit" meaning, "One defends and the other conquers".