What is the symbol of Canada?

The term national symbol refers to a symbol of any entity that is manifesting and considering itself to be a national community. National symbols are used to unite citizens by creating iconic, verbal, and visual representations of the nation and its history, goals, and values. National symbols aim to inspire nationalism or patriotism and include flags, abstract symbols, mottos, national anthems, and coat of arms.

The national symbols of Canada are the Canadian coat of arms, the Beaver, the Great Seal of Canada, and the Maple Leaf. The Canadian coat of arms or the Arms of Canada is the coat of arms of the monarch and is modelled after the British design. Various branches of government use the coat of arms as a mark of authority, including the Supreme Court, the Cabinet, and the Prime Minister. The arms combine a number of symbols such as the ribbon, shield, crown, helm, and crest. The Great Seal of Canada is another national symbol used for official purposes. The seal is used on official documents such as commissions and proclamations to appoint senators, lieutenant governors, judges, and Cabinet ministers. The Great Seal of Canada melds together the will of the Crown and notions of authority and authenticity, lending prestige to documents. Created by the Royal Canadian Mint, the present seal depicts Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, sitting on the Coronation Chair. Each Canadian province has its own great seal which is kept by the attorney general and used by the lieutenant governor.

The Beaver is another national symbol of Canada, and it is the symbol of many organizations and units within the Canadian Military Forces. The Canadian Pacific Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway Police Station, and Toronto Police Services also display the beaver on their coat of arms. Sir William Alexander was the first to depict the beaver on coat of arms. The Hudson’s Bay Company displayed the beaver on its coat of arms, reflecting the importance of the trade in beaver pelts. The company’s shield consisted of 4 beavers and 2 moose separated by St. George’s Cross.

The Maple Leaf is a recognized symbol of the Canadian nation. The Maple Leaf was added to the official coat of arms of Quebec and Ontario in 1868, and in 1921, it was included in the Canadian coat of arms. The symbol was depicted on all coins between 1876 and 1901 and remained on the penny. The Maple Leaf chosen for the Canadian flag of 1965 was generic and represented all tree species that are native to Canada. Today, the Maple Leaf is depicted on the Canadian flag, logos of national sports teams, and logos of Canadian companies. Examples include the Toronto FC soccer club, General Motors Canada, Air Canada, and Wendy’s Canada. The Maple Leaf is used by the Canadian government as an identifier and personification on its websites. The Royal Canadian Mint has minted platinum, silver, palladium, and gold bullion coins, known as Maple Leafs.