Down Syndrome Society of Québec

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Coat of arms (crest) of Down Syndrome Society of Québec

Official blazon

Arms : Azure on a saltire voided throughout of the field a heart Or, on a chief Or three fleurs-de-lis Azure
Crest : Perched on a mural coronet Azure masoned Or a snowy owl displayed proper charged on the breast with a heart Azure
Supporters : Two Emperor penguins, each supporting on its feet a chick and standing on an ice field set with blue flag flowers proper


The arms were officially granted on January 20, 2014.

The colour blue and the fleurs-de-lis symbolize Quebec and the fact that the Down Syndrome Society of Québec is an organization serving the entire province of Quebec. The two saltires represent the Roman numeral XX, or twenty, and the heart the number 1. Together with the three fleurs-de-lis, they suggest trisomy 21, the presence of a third copy of the 21st chromosome, the most common cause of Down’s Syndrome. The saltire also represents a crossroads, thus referring to the motto, as well as a pair of chromosomes.

The snowy owl, the official bird of Quebec, refers to the territory served by the Society and the freedom of people living with Down’s Syndrome to be themselves. The crown shaped like a wall evokes a fort, as well as the last name of the Society founder, Sylvain Fortin. The heart refers to the motto.

The emperor penguins and their chicks represent parents whose child is living with Down’s Syndrome. Like the penguins, these parents shower their children with love, protect them against outside elements and give them everything they need to thrive. They also symbolize the support role that the Society brings to these families. The blue flag flower is the floral emblem of Quebec.

Meaning “They lead on the road of the heart”, this Latin phrase reminds us that people living with Down’s Syndrome have an unlimited capacity for love.

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