On Nov. 21, 1921 King George V proclaimed a new Coat of Arms for Canada.
In 1869 Canada had been authorized to use the arms of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick together on one shield. The use had not been intended as a Coat of Arms, but rather as part of the Great Seal of Canada, but it became used as such, later modified by the addition of new quarterings as provinces were added. This was the version used on the gold $5 and $10 coins of 1912 to 1914.
Efforts to create a new, simpler, version were started in the early 1900s but it was not until 1920 that a design was finalized, based on the Royal Coat of Arms with the incorporation of maple leaves and fleurs-de-lis.
At the same time the Arms were proclaimed, King George V also recognized Canada’s official colours at red and white.
Since that time the design was updated slightly in 1957 and again in 1994. In each case, the Canadian 50-cent piece, which depicts the 50-cent piece on the reverse, has been updated.