The Helm and Mantling
The helm or helmet sits atop the shield. It displays the crest
as well as denotes the rank of the person bearing the arms. The
mantle was originally used to protect the head and shoulders from
the sun. Since medieval times it has become more of an accessory
to the crest and shield. The Arms of Canada show a royal helmet
draped with a red and white mantle, which denote the colours of
Following the advice of the Prime Minister of Canada, Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II approved the addition of a ribbon to the
Royal Arms. The motto is that of the Order of Canada,
"Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam" which means "They desire
a better country". The augmentation of the ribbon was
suggested by Mr. Bruce Hicks, of Ottawa, and was approved
on July the 12th, 1994.
The motto, "A Mari usque ad Mare" is based on Psalm 72:8, "He
shall have dominion from sea to sea and from the river unto the
ends of the earth". It was first used in 1906 in the new Legislative
Assembly of Saskatchewan, carved onto the head of their mace.
Sir Joseph Pope, Undersecretary of State first proposed the
motto, being impressed by it's meaning. On April 21, 1921, the
Order in Council proposed the motto for the new coat of arms.
Royal Proclamation confirmed it on November 21, 1921.