Last modified: 2003-08-16 by phil nelson
Keywords: british columbia | burnaby | strawberry leaves | leaf: strawberry | crown |
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by J.J. McCullough
Burnaby's new coat of arms was developed in conjunction with the 100th birthday celebrations in 1992. Elements from Burnaby's unique natural and historical heritage are drawn together in a centuries-old art form to create this heraldic symbol.
The Shield of Arms is a visual metaphor of Burnaby's location at the heart of the Lower Mainland. The blue of the Inlet on the North and the Fraser on the South is separated by the gold of the land, representing both the riches of nature and those created by human endeavor. The eagle, symbolizing the spirit of the whole community, lies at the centre of the design. This symbolic bird also refers to the rich natural attributes of Burnaby Mountain and the wildlife which makes its home there. The wings of the eagle are decorated with water symbols: one each for Deer Lake and Burnaby Lake.
The Crest (found above the shield) blends symbols honouring Burnaby's past with others representing civic government. The dominant colours, red and white, are the national colours of Canada and are also those featured in the 16th century coat of arms of Robert Burnaby's ancestors. The crown of silver stones with red masonry is the ancient heraldic emblem for municipal corporations. It is decorated with a heraldic sylization of strawberry flowers (fraises), referring to the strawberry farms once found throughout the municipality and now symbolizing the market gardens on the South Slope riverside lands by the Fraser River. These fraises are also the main element in the arms of the Fraser Clan of which Simon Fraser was an illustrious member. The lion is taken directly from the Burnaby family arms, honouring the District's namesake and the efforts of all the pioneers. It also symbolizes the spirit of the District government, headed by the Mayor and Council. This idea is emphasized by having the lion uphold the district flag.
The Motto continues the sentiment found on the first District Seal dating from 1892, the year of incorporation, providing a link with heritage represented in the original symbol.
The Supporters are two deer, male and female, representing the natural heritage of the District. The men and women who have helped create and preserve Burnaby are made distinctive from other supporters elsewhere in Canada by adding the collars of red rhododendrons, the municipal flower.
The Flag in proper heraldic fashion, the flag is composed of the elements on the shield reshaped to serve as a banner.
City of Burnaby, British Columbia
researched by Phil Nelson - 3 April 1999
The Corporation of the District of Burnaby was founded 24 Sept. 1892, it was named for Robert Burnaby (or for Burnaby Lake, which in turn was named for Robert Burnaby.
The arms were granted by the Canadian Heraldic Authority to the City of Burnaby in 1992. The Letters Patent on display at City Hall shows the flag clearly. The waves on the flag have 5 peaks and 4 troughs. The eagle is not an uncommon sight in the Lower Mainland.
area 90km2, area 193954 (2001 census); borders with Vancouver, New Westminster, Coquitlam, and Port Moody; hometown of hockey player Joe Sakic and actor Michael J. Fox; site of Simon Fraser University (which has a real, heraldic flag) and of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT, which received a grant of arms, but still uses a Letterhead on a Blue Bedsheet).
Dean McGee, 16 January 2003