Coat of Arms
City Council formally resolved to adopt a coat of arms for the City of Nelson on January 29, 1958. A committee from the Chamber of Commerce was authorized to proceed in the planning and design of the arms under the chairmanship of Arthur Foster. The committee contacted Alan B. Beddoe of Cyrville, Ontario, recognized as the foremost authority on heraldry in Canada, to assist them in the design and to make application to the College of Arms in London, England.
The coat of arms was granted to the City of Nelson on June 20, 1958, and was officially presented to the Mayor and Council on June 4, 1960, by the Honourable Frank M. Ross, then Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.
Following the official presentation, the City began to use the arms on the City's seal, stationery, vehicles, etc., and in 1969 adopted its use for a City flag, which depicts the coat of arms centred on a white background.
Nelson's coat of arms includes images that represent the City's history and geography, and the motto "Forge Ahead." The demi-mountain lion at the top refers to the fact that Hugh Nelson, after whom the city was named, was at one time the personal representative of the Queen in British Columbia. The lion holds Canada's emblem, the maple leaf, aloft in its right paw. The mural crown represents Civic Authority. The pyramidal forms on the shield are indicative of the mountains surrounding Nelson. In the centre of the shield, the ancient crown refers to Nelson being known as the "Queen City of the Kootenays," and shows deference to Her Majesty, the Queen. The wavy lines at the bottom represent the Kootenay River, and the fish between them is the Kokanee. The scrollwork of the coat of arms is white (silver) and green, which is Nelson's colour, and also acknowledges Hugh Nelson's Irish ancestry.Go to Top