New heraldic emblems unveiled for Supreme Court

On March 15, Canada’s Chief Herald Samy Khalid unveiled the Supreme Court’s new heraldic emblems at a small ceremony that included Chief Justice Richard Wagner, the Canadian court system’s highest-ranking judge.

The new emblems, which replace the Supreme Court’s use of the Arms of Canada, are a visual expression of the Supreme Court’s “role, traditions and the principle of judicial independence,” according to a statement issued by the court. They include a new badge, a flag and a coat of arms. The badge’s white background conveys transparency and accessibility while two vertical red stripes represent parallel paths, including the court’s bilingual and bijural traditions.

“The stripes also recall the principles of peace and mutual respect embodied by the two-row wampum belt in the traditions of many of the First Peoples,” added the court’s statement.

Former chief herald Claire Boudreau designed the Supreme Court’s new badge before being replaced by Samy Khalid
last May.

After the ceremony, Wagner raised the new flag on the court’s eastern flagpole, where it will be raised each time the court is in session. The coat of arms will now be used on all judicial documents, including decisions, orders and bulletins of proceeding.

In 2005, the Royal Canadian Mint marked the Supreme Court’s 130th anniversary on a 14-karat gold coin. With a face value of $100, the 27-millimetre proof coin captures the court’s grand architecture alongside Justitia (or Justice), one of two tall statues erected next to the building’s steps (the other being Veritas, or Truth).

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