Thursday, May 20, 2004

FROM SEA TO SEA THEY DESIRE A BETTER COUNTRY

In today's 'Darts and Laurels' on the The Stars editorial page (not available on-line) the Star accuses Stephen Harper of laziness for claiming in a campaign pamphlet that the Coat of Arms of Canada displays the words 'they desire a better country.' The Star glibly asserts "Wrong folks, it says 'from sea to sea.'" If the Star is going to accuse people of laziness it would be expected that it would at least check its facts first. To not do so would be, well... lazy.

First of all, very techinically speaking the Coat of Arms says niether of those above things because the writing on the Arms is in Latin not English, but whatever. The more important point is that the Coat of Arms actaully displays both of those phrases.

This independent website gives an excellent explanation of the Canadian Coat of Arms, the government's site is better for the history but less good for an explanation of the heraldry.

The motto of Canada 'a mari usque ad mare' (from sea to sea) has been displayed at the base of the Arms since they were approved by Royal Proclamation in 1921. However, in 1994 HRH Elizabeth II approved the addition of a ribbon to the Arms, surrounding the crest, with the inscription of the Order of Canada 'desiderantes meliorem patriam (they desire a better country).

The Star's accusations of laziness prove quite ironic when it is clear that no one at the paper bothered to look at the Coat of Arms when writing something about them.

Posted by Matthew @ 7:42 PM