In December 2008, the Chief Herald of Canada approved a request from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for a grant of armorial bearings.
While the CBSA was founded in 2003, Canada has a long and rich history in border management of Canada's customs, immigration, and agriculture requirements. In recognition of this history, on June 15, 2010, by authority under the Royal Prerogative, the Chief Herald of Canada granted the CBSA armorial bearings consisting of a coat of arms and a heraldic badge. The personal approval of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was given for the use of the Royal Crown in CBSA's heraldic bearings. On July 6, 2010, as the last official act of Her Majesty's 2010 Royal Tour of Canada, the CBSA's brand new coat of arms and heraldic badge were viewed by the Queen, who was accompanied by the President of the CBSA and by the Chief Herald of Canada. A third heraldic symbol, the CBSA flag, was presented to the Agency on December 20, 2012.
The Canadian Heraldic Authority designed the CBSA's armorial bearings based on extensive research into the Agency's history and mission, mandate and values. These symbols commemorate the CBSA's legacy and rich history.
The Coat of Arms
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.
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
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 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.
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.
The CBSA Flag
The blue colour of the CBSA flag originates from the blue ensigns historically used by government ships, the early means of border control. Additionally, it is a colour associated with law enforcement, and is the colour of the CBSA uniform. The National Flag of Canada indicates service to Canadians. In the fly (length), the heraldic badge identifies the flag as that of the CBSA.
To obtain permission to reproduce Government of Canada materials on this site for commercial purposes, please complete an Application for Copyright Clearance of CBSA Material and return it by mail or email to CBSA's Marketing and Creative Services:
Marketing and Creative Services
Canada Border Services Agency
191 Laurier Avenue West, 9th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L8
For more information about heraldry or the Canadian Heraldic Authority please visit the website of the Governor General of Canada: www.gg.ca.
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