Emblems of Alberta
The emblems of Alberta reflect the province's history, its natural and diverse landscapes, and its people.
The Alberta Coat of Arms represents provincial sovereignty and the authority of the Lieutenant Governor,
Premier, Ministers, the Legislative Assembly, members of the Legislative Assembly and their offices. The Coat of Arms
is also used by the Court of Appeal, the Court of Queen's Bench, the Provincial Court and Provincial Judges.
The original Coat of Arms was assigned by Royal Warrant in 1907. In 1980, it was augmented with a crest, supporters and a motto to create what is now known as the Alberta Coat of Arms. A minor revision was introduced in 2008 to replace the gentlemen's helmet with the royal helmet.
The crest has a royal crown on top of a beaver sitting on a helmet with a silver and red wreath. The supporters are a gold lion and a pronghorn antelope. The compartment, or the base of the Coat of Arms, is a grassy mount with wild roses. The provincial motto, Fortis et Liber, "strong and free", is under the base. The current Coat of Arms was adopted on July 30, 1980, by Royal Warrant.
The shield of the Coat of Arms was adopted as a separate official emblem known as the provincial shield in September 2013. Topped by a red St. George's Cross on a white background, the Provincial Shield features azure (blue) in back of a range of snow-capped mountains with green hills, prairie and a wheat field in front. The provincial shield remains as an element of two other emblems: the Coat of Arms and the flag of Alberta.
Flag of Alberta
Adopted on June 1, 1968, the flag shows the provincial shield of Alberta on a blue background. The flag is proportioned twice as long as it is high, with the provincial shield positioned in the center at 7/11 of the height of the flag.
Floral Emblem: Wild Rose, Rosa Acicularis
The wild rose was designated the floral emblem of Alberta in 1930. It grows almost everywhere in the province, brightening the countryside with flashes of pink.
Grass Emblem: Rough Fescue, Festuca Scabrella
Alberta has the largest area of rough fescue grassland in the world and is the only place in North America that hosts the plains, foothills and northern kinds of rough fescue. Rough fescue provides excellent year-round forage for wildlife and livestock, and is a symbol of Alberta's prairie heritage and the need for the conservation of our rich biodiversity of native grasslands. It was designated the official grass of Alberta in 2003 due to the efforts of the Prairie Conservation Forum.
The colours of the Alberta tartan represent the green of our forests, the gold of our wheat fields, the blue of our clear skies and sparkling lakes, the pink of our wild rose, and the black of our coal and petroleum. The tartan was designed by the Edmonton Rehabilitation Society for the Handicapped, now Goodwill Industries of Alberta, and was adopted as the official tartan of Alberta in 1961.
Alberta Dress Tartan
Adopted in 2000, the Alberta dress tartan complements the Alberta tartan and can be worn for dancing, special occasions and formal attire. It includes the same colours as the Alberta tartan and adds large sections of white, a symbol of Alberta's bright snowy days.
Bird of Alberta: Great Horned Owl, Bubo Virginianus
On May 3, 1977, the great horned owl was adopted as Alberta's official bird after a province-wide children's vote. The bird is a year-round resident of the province.
Stone of Alberta: Petrified Wood
Commonly found in gravel pits throughout Alberta, petrified wood is the result of the deposit of microcrystalline quartz in the pores and cells of the fallen trees of the Cretaceous and Paleocene times, some 60 to 90 million years ago. Petrified wood was recognized as Alberta's official stone in 1977 due to the efforts of the Alberta Federation of Rock Clubs.
Tree of Alberta: Lodgepole Pine, Pinus Contorta Variety Latifolia
In the early 1900s, lodgepole pine was primarily used to make railway ties. Today it plays a major role in Alberta's forest industry and is manufactured into poles, posts, pulp, plywood, mine timbers and other lumber products. It was adopted as the official tree of Alberta on May 30, 1984, due to the efforts of the Junior Forest Warden Association of Alberta.
Alberta blue and Alberta gold are the official colours of Alberta and were adopted in 1984. The blue represents the sky and the gold/deep yellow represents the prairies.
Mammal of Alberta: Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Ovis Canadensis
On August 18, 1989, the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep was designated the official mammal of Alberta. The bighorn is a native Alberta animal. Prehistoric remains have been found in most of the river valleys across Alberta, showing that at one time some of the largest herds of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep roamed the province. Today the bighorn is primarily found in the Rocky Mountain region.
Fish of Alberta: Bull Trout, Salvelinus Confluentus
Adopted as the official fish of Alberta on May 2, 1995, the bull trout is one of eight species of trout found in the province's glacial waters. In order to ensure Alberta's population of bull trout never becomes endangered, there is a catch and release policy governing all bull trout fishing in the province.
In addition to the designated official emblems, Alberta also has a provincial song titled Alberta which was adopted in September 2004. It pays musical tribute to the province's geography, industry, history and cultural diversity. Alberta was composed by Mary Kieftenbeld as part of a contest to find an original, official song for the province's centennial celebrations in 2005.
Revised: September 3, 2013