Symbols of Alberta

Flag of Alberta.svg

Alberta is one of Canada's provinces, and has established several official emblems that reflect the province's history, its natural and diverse landscapes, and its people.[1]

Official symbols of AlbertaEdit

Symbol Image Adopted Remarks
Coat of arms Coat of arms of Alberta 1907, augmented July 30, 1980. Granted to Alberta by Royal Warrant.[1]
Motto Fortis et liber
(English: Strong and Free)
July 30, 1980 Granted with other elements of the coat of arms.[1] A reference to the fifth line of O Canada.
Provincial shield Provincial shield of Alberta September 2013 The shield of the coat of arms was adopted as a separate official emblem known as the provincial shield in September 2013.[1]
Flag Flag of Alberta June 1, 1968 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.[2]
Provincial colours Alberta Blue and Alberta Gold    1984 The colours can be found on the flag and on other provincial insignia.[2]
Floral Wild rose
(Rosa acicularis)
1930[2][3] It grows in almost all regions of the province.
Tree Lodgepole pine
(Pinus contorta latifolia)
May 30, 1984, due to the efforts of the Junior Forest Warden Association of Alberta. It was used in the early 1900s for the production of railway ties, and is as a resource for the production of poles, posts, pulp and plywood in Alberta's forestry industry.
Grass Rough fescue
(Festuca scabrella)
April 30, 2003, due to the efforts of the Prairie Conservation Forum.
Stone Petrified wood 1977, due to the efforts of the Alberta Federation of Rock Clubs. Of Cretaceous and Paleocene ages, it is often found in gravel pits in Alberta.
Gemstone Ammolite 2004[4] Made from fossilized shells and Southern Alberta is the only known location where it reaches gem quality levels.
Mammal Rocky mountain bighorn sheep
(Ovis canadensis)
August 18, 1989 The bighorn is a native Alberta mammal. Prehistoric remains have been found in most of the river valleys across Alberta, showing that some of the largest herds of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep once roamed the province. Today the bighorn is primarily found in the Rocky Mountain region.[2]
Fish Bull trout
(Salvelinus confluentus)
May 2, 1995 Catch and release policy regulates all bull trout fishing in Alberta.
Bird Great horned owl
(Bubo virginianus)
May 3, 1977, by a province-wide children's vote.[3] It is found throughout Alberta in forests and grasslands.[5]
Tartan Alberta tartan 1961, due to the efforts of the Edmonton Rehabilitation Society for the Handicapped, now Goodwill Industries of Alberta.[2] Green, gold, blue, pink and black, for forests, wheat fields, skies and lakes, wild rose and coal and petroleum respectively.
Alberta dress tartan 2000[2] Large sections of white, a symbol of Alberta's clean and bright snowy days. It can be worn for dancing, special occasions and formal attire.[2]
Anthem "Alberta" September 2004[2] Written by Mary Kieftenbeld, and[6] adopted as the official provincial song in preparation for the province's centennial celebrations in 2005.[7]
Order Alberta Order of Excellence 1979[8] Intended to honour current or former Alberta residents for conspicuous achievements in any field,, the Alberta Order of Excellence is the highest honour conferred by the province.[9][10]
Medal Alberta Centennial Medal March 24, 2005 Intended to honor Albertans who have made significant contributions to their fellow citizens, their community and to the province.[11]
Mace The Mace of Alberta It replaced the old version on February 9, 1956. It is the symbol of the authority of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. It is a ceremonial staff carried by the Sergeant-at-Arms into the Chamber.[12] It was designed by L.B. Blain in Edmonton, and built by English silversmith Joseph Fray in Birmingham.[13]
Francophone flag Franco-Albertan flag
(French: Drapeau franco-albertain)
June 24, 2017 Adopted by the Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta (French-Canadian Association of Alberta) in March 1982 after winning a contest sponsored by Francophonie jeunesse de l'Alberta (Francophone Youth of Alberta). On June 14, 2017, Alberta's French Policy officially recognized the flag as a "Symbol of Distinction under the Emblems of Alberta Act".[14]

De facto symbolsEdit

While not officially adopted through legislation as emblems by the government of Alberta, these places and things are popularly associated with (hence could be considered symbols of) the province.

Symbol Image Remarks
Legislative building Alberta Legislative Building Completed in 1913, it is the seat of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.[15]
Official residence Government House The former official residence of the lieutenant governors of Alberta. The restored and repurposed building is currently used by the Alberta provincial government for ceremonial events, conferences, and some official meetings of the caucus.[16]
Logo Provincial signature Introduced in 2009 as part of Brand Alberta.
Provincial wordmark (1962-2009) Introduced in 1972 and used by Executive Council of Alberta as well as the Legislative Assembly of Alberta on all official documents. It uses a specific typeface, and is also showcased on signs such as highway shields. Still in found in use.[17]
Provincial wordmark Introduced in 1960s.[18]
Highway shield Standard highway markers for Alberta Alberta's provincial highway network is signed using standard highway markers along its 31,000 kilometers (19,000 mi) of paved roads.
Vehicle registration plate Standard Alberta License Plate The current white, red and blue base was introduced in late 1983, with the new Alberta logo being added in July 2019. Only rear plates have been required since 1992.
Law enforcement agency Alberta Sheriffs Branch While not a provincial police service like Ontario, Quebec or Newfoundland, the Alberta Sheriffs are provincial law enforcement agency. Rural policing is done by a combination of the RCMP and the Sheriff Highway Patrol.
Coin Alberta Centennial Quarter Coin In 2005, to celebrate the centennials of Alberta, two commemorative quarters were issued by the Royal Canadian Mint. There were four candidate designs for the Alberta quarter: Big Sky Country, Alberta's Natural Beauty, A Dynamic Century, and Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. The winning design was Big Sky Country, by Michelle Grant, and depicted an oil derrick with cattle grazing at its base.[19]
125th Anniversary of Confederation In 1992, to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Confederation, the Mint released a commemorative coin depicting the Alberta badlands.
Dinosaur Albertosaurus
(/ælˌbɜːrtəˈsɔːrəs/; meaning "Alberta lizard")
Named by Henry Fairfield Osborn, honouring Alberta, established the same year in which the first remains were found. Almost three-quarters of all remains have been discovered alongside the Red Deer River near Drumheller.[20]: 265  The Albertosaurus is featured on the latest issue of the Alberta Drivers License, introduced in 2018.
Fungus Red cap mushroom
(Leccinum boreale)
An amendment introduced to the Emblems of Alberta Act, as proposed in March 2009 was approved by Members of the Legislative Assembly.[21]
Sport Rodeo Commonly associated with Alberta, Rodeo is particularly popular in the province. The first rodeo in Canada was held in 1902 in Raymond, Alberta, and the Calgary Stampede held in Calgary, is a ten-day event, which bills itself as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth," attracts over one million visitors per year and features one of the world's largest rodeos.

There is currently a bill before the Legislative Assembly of Alberta that will make American rodeo the official sport of the province.[22] However, enabling legislation has yet to be passed, and this has not been without criticism and opposition from animal rights and some animal welfare advocates.[23]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Government of Alberta. "Emblems of Alberta". Retrieved 2014-02-07.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Emblems of Alberta". Government of Alberta. Archived from the original on November 15, 2019. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Legislative Assembly of Alberta (2006). "The Emblems of Alberta". Archived from the original on 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
  4. ^ "Ammolite". Alberta Geological Survey. Retrieved 13 September 2019.[dead link]
  5. ^ Comox School district. "Alberta". Retrieved 2007-02-09.
  6. ^ "Couple sings Alberta praise". The Western Producer. 2004-07-15. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  7. ^ Anonymous. "Canada Alberta: Alberta Provincial Song". Sheet music. National Anthems of the World Organisation. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  8. ^ "The Alberta Order of Excellence". Government of Alberta. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  9. ^ Bingham, Russell, "Culture > Awards > Alberta Order of Excellence", in Marsh, James H. (ed.), The Canadian Encyclopedia, Toronto: Historica Foundation of Canada, retrieved 21 August 2009
  10. ^ Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Council, Alberta Queen's Printer, retrieved 22 August 2009
  11. ^ Government of Alberta. "Alberta Centennial Medal Act".
  12. ^ Legislative Assembly of Alberta. "Symbols and Ceremonies: The Mace and the Black Rod". Archived from the original on 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2007-02-14.
  13. ^ Citizen's Guide to the Alberta Legislature. Edmonton. 2010.
  14. ^ Alberta, Government of. "Header and Footer". Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  15. ^ "Alberta Legislature | Explore Edmonton". Alberta Legislature | Explore Edmonton | Explore Edmonton. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  16. ^ "Government House". Government of Alberta. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  17. ^ Government of Alberta. "Symbols of Alberta" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Alberta's Centennial Coin". Archived from the original on 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2007-05-07.
  20. ^ Osborn, Henry F. (1905). "Tyrannosaurus and other Cretaceous carnivorous dinosaurs". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 21 (3): 259–265. doi:10.1111/j.1468-5965.2007.00735_17.x. hdl:2246/1464.
  21. ^ Audette, Trish (March 10, 2009). "MLAs support official mushroom motion". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  22. ^ "Bill 212: Official Sport of Alberta Act" (PDF). Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  23. ^ Hofer, Shaun (March 19, 2021). "Opinion: Why rodeo shouldn't be Alberta's official sport". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved June 1, 2021.