Official blazon :
Arms : Argent three pallets wavy Azure, on a chief enarched three pallets counterchanged
Crest : Issuant from a mural crown Argent masoned Azure charged with maple leaves Gules and hurts bearing mullets Argent, a thunderbolt Or
Supporters: Two lions Or each holding a lightning bolt Argent and standing on a rocky mound proper
Motto: TREAD THE SMOOTHER WAYS OF PEACE;
The arms were granted on May 15, 2006.
The design is a symbolic representation of the Canadian, or Horseshoe, Falls, the City’s most famous feature and one of the natural wonders of the world. The top part indicates the flowing water of the Niagara River, the division line the shape of the Horseshoe Falls, and the lower part the tumbling water as it goes over the Falls.
The mural crown is a traditional symbol of municipal authority. The maple leaves and stars indicate Niagara Falls’ status as a border city, across from the city of the same name in New York State. The thunderbolt is a symbol derived from classical mythology. It alludes to the name Niagara, thought to mean “thunder of water” in the aboriginal Neutral language. It also reinforces the idea of electrical power as expressed in the lightning bolts held by the supporters.
The lions have been used by the City since 1939, and the lightning bolts refer to the importance of hydro-electric power generated by the Falls. As gold lions are found in the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom and of Canada, they also allude to the important role the Niagara region played in the defence of Canada during the War of 1812, such as at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane in what is now Niagara Falls. The rocky ground on which the lions stand alludes to the Niagara Gorge.
The motto is taken from Dr. Arthur William Fisher’s poem “Niagara”, published in 1924. As Niagara Falls is the most famous border city in Canada, this alludes to the peaceful relationship with the United States, valued particularly in a region that saw terrible battles in the War of 1812. This motto can serve as an exhortation to all citizens to advance the cause of peace.
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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink
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