In December 2008, the Chief Herald of Canada approved a request from the CBSA for a grant of armorial bearings.
A year and a half later the CBSA is receiving its official coat of arms and heraldic badge.
Throughout the long history of CBSA legacy organizations (customs, immigration and food/plant/animal inspection) none has been recognized with its own heraldic bearings.
The CHA designed the CBSA's coat of arms and heraldic badge based on extensive research into the Agency's history and mission, mandate and values.
The development of the armorial bearings is a way to formally recognize the CBSA, its legacy and the valuable contributions it makes to the protection and prosperity of Canada and its citizens.
The new coat of arms and heraldic badge commemorate the CBSA's rich history as one of Canada's first public service agencies.
The coat of arms is reserved for occasions of high significance and is generally to be associated with the President's Office.
The meaning behind the elements of the coat of arms is:
Shield: The three pairs of blue and silver segments indicate that the Agency was formed from three different organizations. These six segments sweep around a common centre point representing a scanning attitude to symbolize the Agency's unity as we move forward.
A gold tressure, a heraldic term for a narrow inner border on a shield, with maple leaves at its three points surrounds the centre emblem. The tressure symbolizes the Agency's focus on protecting Canada's security and prosperity. A gold portcullis, a heraldic term for gate, and the Royal Crown appear at the centre and together, they have significant heraldic symbolism as a historical emblem for Her Majesty's agents responsible for border services.
Crest: The crest features a sparrow hawk atop the helmet. The sparrow hawk is a symbol of keen eyesight and a brave warrior, and represents our workforce as professional, alert observers who are courteous and responsive. The small shield that the sparrow hawk grasps represents the Agency's peace officers, while the red and white colours represent Canada.
Supporters: The griffin is the guardian of treasures and a symbol of watchfulness. The upper body of the griffin is red, which represents Canada, bringing into sight white as the second colour of Canada, while the gold symbolizes the Agency's commitment to service excellence. The griffins stand on a base of rock symbolizing the steadfast confidence and integrity that the Agency upholds.
Motto: The CBSA motto is placed at the base of the coat of arms, and represents the foundation of the Agency. This symbolizes the core values in which the Agency's responsibilities, mandate and workforce are based.
The heraldic badge emphasizes the CBSA's role as a law enforcement agency that contributes to the safety of Canadians. It was designed for all CBSA employees to identify with.
The CBSA heraldic badge displays the same visual features as the arms except that the Royal Crown is mounted at the top of the badge as per heraldic custom.
The Agency's three legacy organizations are represented by three pairs of blue and silver segments. These six segments sweep around a common centre point representing a scanning attitude to symbolize the Agency's unity as we move forward.
A gold tressure, with maple leaves, surrounds the centre emblem. The tressure symbolizes the Agency's focus on protecting Canada's security and prosperity. The portcullis, found in the centre of the shield, has significant heraldic symbolism and represents Her Majesty's agents responsible for border services.
The shield is encircled by the Agency's motto, surrounded by thirteen gold maple leaves representing the different jurisdictions in which the Agency operates. This maple leaf arrangement is unique to the CBSA amongst law enforcement organizations in Canada possessing armorial bearings.
The Royal Crown placed atop of the badge indicates that CBSA employees serve on behalf of Her Majesty.
For more information about heraldry or the Canadian Heraldic Authority, please visit www.gg.ca.For more information about the CBSA, please visit www.cbsa.gc.ca.