Alfred C. Wurtele was reeve of Esquimalt and instrumental in the creation of the coat-of-arms.

Coat-of-arms emblematic of Esquimalt

Coat-of-arms was created in 1956 through research undertaken by heraldic authority, Lt.-Cmdr. Alan Beddoe

This month marks the 50th anniversary of Canada’s Maple Leaf flag.

Resolutions were passed by Parliament on Dec. 15, 1964 and two days later by the Senate, paving the way for a proclamation by Queen Elizabeth II, declaring  the new flag officially adopted on Feb. 15, 1965.

Replacing the Canadian Red Ensign which had flown for nearly 100 years, the red and white flag with its stylized 11-point maple leaf, was designed by George F. G. Stanley.

The maple leaf has been used as a Canadian emblem since the 1700s and seemed a fitting choice when the committee formed by then-prime minister Lester B. Pearson made a formal recommendation after months of debate as to what best represented our country.

Esquimalt, too, has its symbols, no more so than in its coat-of-arms (Armorial Bearings) created in 1956 through research undertaken by heraldic authority, Lt.-Cmdr. Alan Beddoe.

Township council asked that the design reflect the story of Esquimalt, including reference to First Nations, the Royal Navy, the Puget Sound Agricultural Company (a subsidiary of the Hudson’s Bay Company) and the Royal Engineers.

The design is made up of many parts.

The central v-shaped section with blue and white wavy lines, symbolizes the ocean surrounded by yellow broom, depicted in gold.

The bird is an  interpretation of the Naden raven, in tribute to our original inhabitants while the vair (fur) reflects the Hudson’s Bay Company. It is flanked by the golden anchor for the Royal Navy and the golden grenade for the Royal Engineers.

The crest, atop the helmet, is a tribute to the Royal Canadian Navy; with a sailor’s hand holding a trident to ward off our enemies. And the motto, “Es-whoy–malth” is an anglicized version of Lekwungen meaning “a place of gradually shoaling waters.”

On Jan. 23, 1957, Lt.-Gov. Frank M. Ross presented the coat-of-arms to the township.

More recently, in 2014, the digital version of the coat-of-arms was updated to conform with the original colour renderings and a new township flag created.

Last month, a new yardarm-style flagpole was erected at Municipal Hall, permitting the flying of three flags concurrently: the Canadian, provincial and township flag.

•••

Greg Evans is an archivist with Esquimalt Municipal Archives.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

Multiple Victoria officers injured during violent incidents, including mental health calls over long weekend

Police deploy pepper spray, conducted energy weapon while arresting suspect

Crews respond to medical incident on West Saanich Road

Incident appears to be cleared, witnesses say

Saanich police search for potential victims, witnesses after series of unprovoked assaults

Police are looking for more information about two incidents from June 12

City of Victoria expecting a 2020 deficit between $12.5 to $17.5 million

Victoria lost $1.2 million per month just from reduced parking fees during onset of pandemic

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Most Read