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Civic heraldry of Canada
Province : British Columbia
Arms : Barry wavy of eight azure and argent on a chief or between two dogwood flowers proper a pile vert charged with a Kwakiutl totem pole proper.
Crest: Issuant from a mural crown per pale or and azure masoned sable a ship's mast proper bearing a filled sail argent and a pennant vert.
Supporters: Dexter a logger proper bearing an axe in the dexter hand, sinister a fisherman proper bearing a fishing net in the sinister hand.
Motto: By Sea Land and Air We Prosper
The arms were officially granted on March 31, 1969.
The first arms (more like a landscape seal) was used from the City’s incorporation in 1886 until 1903. It was designed by Lauchlan Hamilton, CPR Land Commissioner and City Alderman, and depicted a sailing ship, a tree, wooden docks and a train, see image below.
In 1903 new arms were designed and adopted, but these were never officially granted. The shield featured the Caduceus of Mercury and 15 alternating bars. As supporters a logger holding an axe and tree branch, and a fisher holding a net and oar.
The motto at the bottom read “By sea and land we prosper”.
These arms were converted into a more heraldic style and granted in 1969 in London. They have so far not yet been re-granted in Canada.
The tree branch and oar were removed; the Caduceus on the shield was replaced by a Thunderbird totem pole of Kwakiutl design; the number of bars was reduced to make room for two dogwoods that were added to the upper part of the shield; the Helmet was properly drawn; the Mantle added; and the word "Air" was added to the Motto.
The upper part shows two dogwood flowers, which are symbols of British Columbia. The shield also features a Kwakiutl totem pole that shows the First Nations heritage, and eight wavy bars alternating blue on white, that are reminiscent of the ocean.
The supporters (a logger with axe on the left and fisher with net on the right) represent the two original industries of Vancouver.
The crest shows ship's mast and sail with green pennon flying to the left. This depicts Vancouver's location and status as a seaport.
The motto reflects the three methods of transportation by which the city has prospered.
Literature : Image and info taken from a leaflet by the City of Vancouver