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Civic heraldry of Canada
Province : British Columbia
Arms: Azure on a fess Or, its upper edge dancetty, three lozenges Sable;
Crest: A coal car Azure bearing coal Sable resting thereon a mining pick Argent;
Supporters: Dexter a grizzly bear Or gorged with a collar of cedar Vert holding in its dexter paw a trout Argent, sinister an elk Or gorged with a like collar, its sinister foreleg resting on a crosscut saw Argent, handles Sable, the supporters standing on a grassy mound Vert set with snowflakes and dogwood flowers Argent;
Motto: IN MONTIBUS AD FLUMEN;
The arms were officially granted on December 15, 2003.
The gold refers both to the wealth generated from the coal and forestry industries and to the sunshine which makes Fernie an important recreational and ecotourism destination. The three “peaks” in the upper part of the shield refer to the Three Sisters, the most dramatic and famous of the Rocky Mountain formations visible from Fernie. The area of blue below the gold symbolizes the Elk River, on which Fernie is situated, and, by extension, the valley of the same name. The blue above represents the sky. The black diamonds are the traditional heraldic representation for coal and hence an important reference to the great coal mines that formed the basis of the city’s initial prosperity.
The historic and ongoing importance of the coal industry to the city is symbolized by the coal car. The pick represents both traditional methods of coal mining and the pioneer miners.
The elk and the grizzly are common large mammals in the region, with the elk also giving its name to the valley where the city is located. The two animals also represent the rich natural heritage of Fernie’s setting. The collars of cedar refer to the local stands of cedar, the largest such trees in the province outside the Pacific coast. The trout represents the importance of the local recreational fishery, and the saw, the increasing importance of forestry. The grass in the compartment symbolizes the lands of the City itself. Fernie’s status as a British Columbian city is shown through the use of the dogwood flowers. The increasing importance of winter recreation is dramatized by the snowflakes.
The motto means “In the mountains by the river”, this is an expression of the city’s splendid setting which has so influenced its history and economy.