Last modified: 2002-03-02 by phil nelson
Keywords: prince edward island | montague | bridge | fish | plow |
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by Blas Delgado
From the official city web site: http://www.peisland.com/montague/c-shield.htm
The Shield is green with a wide wavy band of blue edged in white (heraldic silver) running down the centre, top to bottom. Near the base of the shield, the band splits into three, each part also edged in white; the effect being like a river of several branches. Across the centre of the shield and on top of the blue band is a bridge of cut stone with two arches coloured gold.
The central pier between the arches is set in the centre of the blue band. Above the bridge on the blue band is a fish, in a leaping position. On either side of the fish, above the bridge on the green "field" of the shield, is a gold plow. The symbolism of the design is multiple. The green represents the lands of the town and the surrounding fields and is, also, a principal colour in the provincial coat of arms of Prince Edward Island. The blue band represents the Montague River, which at the base is linked to the other two regional rivers, the Cardigan and Brudenell. The bridge symbolizes the crossing of the river at the town. While the actual bridge is not stone, the stones represent the idea of permanence and the ongoing importance of the crossing with the gold referring to commence and wealth via transportation. As well, the two arches form an "M" in outline, a subtle reference to the Town's name. The fish honours one of two historic industries and ongoing recreational activity in the river and the nearby sea, as well as the new aquaculture operations.
The plows underline the importance of agriculture and links the new symbol with the existing town emblem. Both the fish and the plows are shown in white, the second major colour in the arms of Prince Edward Island.
Features a gold bridge of two arches contained within a garland of lupins, also gold, with green leaves. This links the Montague bridge with the notion of fair Montague and natural beauty.
The crest is set on the traditional helmet of heraldry which, in the case of grants to municipalities, is often taken to represent the determination of citizens to safeguard the interests of the community. It is framed by the mantling and wreath of green and white. Above the wreath is an open crown or coronet of cut stones, in red with white masonry. Rising out of the crown is a fishing boat common to the estuaries and sea in eastern P.E.I. The mural coronet is the traditional heraldic symbol for municipal government, so refers to the Town as a municipal corporation. As well, the red is an allusion to the heritage building which houses the Museum.
The compartment on which the shield rests and the supporters stand is a combination of sea on the left and land on the right; grass set with lupin flowers. The supporter on the left is a mermaid with gold body and hair and a silver tail. She wears a green open crown of oak Ieaves. On the right is a gold horse with silver mane and hooves and a collar of lupin blossoms in red.
The theme of the compartment and supporters is to demonstrate that Montague's history and prosperity has been formed by sea and land, so one supporter is a sea creature and the other a land creature. Additionally, the mermaid can be seen as representing the spirit of the sea. The oak leaves in her coronet refer to the oak trees in the arms of the Province. The horse also honours agriculture and the pioneers and lupins are a familiar sight in the gardens and along the roadsides of the Island.
"Prosper Fair Montague" is a call to the ongoing success of the community with the adjective referring to the Town's setting and appearance. The phrase actually combines an invocation of prosperity, with part of the comment of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet where she says, in Act II, "In truth fair Montague . . .".
In conformity with heraldic traditions, the flag is a horizontal banner made up of the elements on the shield rebalanced to fill the rectangle. In this instance a green and white border is added of the type used on the flag of P.E.I.
researched by Phil Nelson - 2 July 1999