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Symbols, Emblems and Flags

Provincial emblems are important symbols for our province and people. From the provincial coat of arms to the provincial bird, emblems reflect our values, as well as the beauty and tradition we see in our lives, community and the natural world around us.

1. Coat of Arms

In 1985, Saskatchewan's armorial bearings were completed by adding a crest, supporters and motto to the shield of arms.

On September 16, 1986, the Governor General of Canada Jeanne Sauve signed a Royal Warrant on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II approving the Complete Armorial Achievement of the Province of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor F.W. Johnson signed a proclamation in Her Majesty's name authorizing its use in and for the province. The new design then became "Her Majesty's Arms in right of Saskatchewan" – the province's official coat of arms.


Saskatchewan Crest
This emblem is protected by law
and may only be used with permission

Immediately above the shield is a helm (or helmet) facing left, representing the co-sovereign status of the Province in Confederation. The helm is decorated with mantling in red and white, the national colours of Canada. Above the helm is a wreath, also in red and white, which supports a beaver – Canada's national animal representing the North, the fur trade and our Indigenous peoples. The beaver holds a western red lily, Saskatchewan's floral emblem. The beaver is surmounted by the Crown, symbol of the province's direct link with the Sovereign through the Lieutenant Governor.


To the left of the shield of arms is a royal lion, a traditional heraldic symbol; and to the right a white-tailed deer, indigenous to Saskatchewan and one of the province's official emblems.

Both supporters wear collars of Prairie Indian beadwork, from which are suspended badges (mullets) in the form of the six-pointed star (or stylized lily) of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, instituted as the province's highest honour in 1985. The badge worn by the lion displays the maple leaf, Canada's emblem, while the one worn by the deer displays Saskatchewan's official flower, the western red lily.


Below the shield is a compartment of western red lilies, supporting a scroll with the provincial motto Multis e gentibus vires (From Many Peoples Strength).

The motto expresses Saskatchewan's multicultural heritage, the contribution of the First Nations and Métis cultures, and the key role of immigration in the province. The root meaning of the Latin gens (from which gentibus is derived) is "people" or "clan." The word vires connotes vigour, energy and mental strength.


The colours in the coat of arms derive from nature and represent aspects typical of the province: ochre or gold for wheat; green for forests and grass; red for the western red lily or prairie fires; and brown for the soil.


The full coat of arms is reserved for the Lieutenant Governor, Premier and Cabinet Ministers, and the Speaker, Members and officers of the Legislative Assembly. It is also used for the Courts of Justice and government documents such as proclamations, certificates, reports and formal invitations.


2. Shield of Arms

Saskatchewan Shield of Arms
This emblem is protected by law
and may only be used with permission.

By a royal warrant on August 25, 1906, King Edward VII granted Saskatchewan's first emblem, the shield of arms, which is now at the centre of the coat of arms granted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1986.

The shield of arms displays a red lion (a traditional royal symbol) on a horizontal gold band across the upper third of the shield; three gold wheat sheaves on a green background (symbolizing Saskatchewan's agriculture and resources) occupy the lower two-thirds.


The shield of arms is the emblem used by the Saskatchewan Archives Board, and by the courts and some government ministries for seals and certificates. The shield of arms surmounted by the Crown and surrounded by a wreath of western red lilies is used on the uniforms and vehicles of provincial law enforcement officers.

The shield of arms surmounted by the Crown is used by the Provincial Secretary as the identifier for the honours and awards program and for royal visits. It is also found in the badge of the Saskatchewan Curling Association in recognition of the status of curling as the official sport of the province.


3. Emblems of Nature

Western Red Lily

Western Red Lily

The provincial floral emblem, selected in 1941, is the western red lily, known botanically as Lilium philadelphicum L. var. andinum. It grows in moist meadows and semi-wooded areas and stands out brilliantly with its flaming red blossoms against a natural green background. The western red lily is a protected species.

Sharp-Tailed Grouse

Sharp-Tailed Grouse

The sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus) was selected as the province's bird emblem in 1945. It is one of Saskatchewan's most popular game birds.

White Birch

White Birch Tree

The white birch (Betula papyrifera) was adopted as the official tree of the province in 1988. A fast-growing deciduous hardwood tree, the white birch is a frequently planted ornamental species, easily recognized by its chalk-white papery bark.

Potash (Sylvite)


Sylvite is the mineral name for the chemical compound KCI, potassium chloride, commonly called potash. Potash ore is a mixture of sylvite, with lesser amounts of carnallite, halite and traces of hematite oxide (responsible for the characteristic pink to reddish-brown colour) and clay.

Potash was chosen as the provincial mineral following a province-wide competition open to Grade 8 school students, and was announced by the Minister of Energy and Mines in February 1996. It was made the official mineral emblem in 1997.

White-Tailed Deer

White Tailed Deer

The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is one of Saskatchewan's most popular game animals, found throughout much of the province. The deer, commonly called the whitetail, is recognizable by the characteristic white underside to its tail.

The white-tailed deer first appeared in Saskatchewan emblems as an element of the armorial bearings proclaimed in 1986. It was adopted as the official animal emblem in 2001.

Needle-and-Thread Grass

Needle and Thread Grass

The provincial grass emblem was selected by a coalition of environmental, wildlife and agricultural organizations through the Prairie Conservation Action Plan, seeking to sustain the native prairie ecosystem in a healthy state. Needle-and-thread grass (Hesperostipa comata) was chosen because it is the dominant grass of Saskatchewan's mixed grassland eco-region and is also common in the moist mixed grassland and aspen parkland eco-regions.

Needle-and-thread grass was officially adopted as the provincial grass emblem in 2001. 

Saskatoon Berry

Saskatoon Berry

Saskatchewan's fruit emblem, the Saskatoon berry or Juneberry, is botanically known as Amelanchier alnifolia.  This small, edible fruit is sweet in taste and has long been eaten by Canada's native peoples. The name derives from the Cree noun misâskwatômina. The city of Saskatoon is named after this plant. In 2005, it was recommended that the Saskatoon berry be named as one of the provincial emblems.



Saskatchewan's fish emblem is the walleye (Sander vitreus). Saskatchewan is known for its world-class fresh water fishing and during the province's centennial in 2005, Saskatchewan Environment held a Provincial Fish Emblem Contest. Ten thousand people voted and the walleye was the overwhelming choice. On January 4, 2005, a walleye measuring 36.5" in length, 22.5" in girth and 18.3 pounds was caught in the frozen waters of Tobin Lake. In 2014, a 13.3lb Walleye was caught spearfishing on the South Saskatchewan River north of Lake Diefenbaker, which has been recognized by the International Underwater Spearfishing Association as a record.

Tyrannosaurus rex

Tyrannosaurus rexThe Tyrannosaurus rex officially became the provincial Fossil through legislation in 2018, following a video contest for schools, an exhibit and an in-person vote lead by the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in 2016. The T. rex beat out five other candidates, and Saskatchewan became the first jurisdiction in North American to use the T. rex as an official emblem. The T. rex in Saskatchewan is personated by "Scotty," a 66-million-year-old T. rex fossil discovered in the Frenchman River Valley in 1991, and was at the time one of only a dozen T. rex skeletons in the world.


4. Flag

Saskatchewan Flag

The flag of Saskatchewan was adopted in 1969. The upper half is green, representing the northern-forested areas of the province; the lower half is gold, representing the southern grain areas.


5. Fransaskois Flag

Fransaskois Flag

In 2005, the Government of Saskatchewan adopted the Fransaskois Flag as a provincial emblem, recognizing the status of French as one of Canada's official languages. By formally recognizing the Fransaskois Flag, the province acknowledged the heritage of Saskatchewan's Francophones and their significant contributions to the province.

The flag is rectangular in shape and has a gold background that represents the wheat fields of Saskatchewan, as farming was the prime occupation of the first francophone settlers. The cross, representing the role of the Catholic Church in Fransaskois history and culture, is green, which is the colour of the northern forests. The red fleur de lys symbolizes "la Francophonie," which is the international name for French-speaking people.


6. Great Seals

Current Great Seal of Saskatchewan

Great Seal of Saskatchewan

In 1986, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II granted complete armorial bearings, or a full coat of arms, to Saskatchewan. On September 16, 1986, Governor General Jeanne Sauve signed the Royal Warrant for the new armorial bearings on behalf of Her Majesty at a ceremony in the Legislative Chamber. On the same occasion Lieutenant Governor F.W. Johnson signed a provincial Royal Proclamation bringing the new coat of arms into official use.

By order-in-council of May 7, 1991, the Government of Saskatchewan authorized a new Great Seal incorporating the coat of arms. Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Fedoruk brought this Great Seal into use by Royal Proclamation on November 1, 1991.

The 1991 Great Seal is the same size as the original. In 1991 Saskatchewan adopted the historic practice of incorporating the name of the reigning monarch on the Great Seal. In its centre is the complete coat of arms of the province surrounded by the legend Elizabeth II Queen of Canada and The Great Seal of the Province of Saskatchewan, denoting the Great Seal as the official seal of the Queen in right of Saskatchewan and the ultimate symbol of authority and sovereignty in the province.

The Great Seal is entrusted by the Lieutenant Governor to the custody of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General. It is normally impressed on an adhesive red wafer affixed to the document concerned. It is imprinted on proclamations, letters patent, the certificates of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and other significant state documents signed by the Lieutenant Governor in the name of the Sovereign.

The first Great Seal of Saskatchewan

The first Great Seal of Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Act of 1905 establishing the Province of Saskatchewan authorized the Lieutenant Governor to adopt and provide a Great Seal and to change it when required.

On September 5, 1905, during Saskatchewan's first week as a province, the Lieutenant Governor authorized his own "privy seal" for use by Saskatchewan on an interim basis.

By Royal Warrant, on August 25, 1906, King Edward VII granted Saskatchewan its first official emblem: a shield of arms, displaying a royal lion in the upper third of the shield and three wheat sheaves in the lower two-thirds.

The shield of arms appeared on the first Great Seal of Saskatchewan, which was authorized by order-in-council on November 26, 1906, and came into use on December 1, of the same year. The legend surrounding the shield of arms reads: The Great Seal of the Province of Saskatchewan. The seal is 69 millimetres (2.7 inches) in diameter.

This Great Seal was in continuous use for 85 years, until replaced in 1991. It is now on permanent display in the Legislative Building in Regina.

History of the Great Seal

The Great Seal is one of the oldest symbols of sovereignty, dating back to medieval times; it signifies the power and authority of the Crown flowing from the Sovereign to our parliamentary government. The seal is impressed directly on the document, or on an adhesive paper wafer affixed to the document, or on a separate piece of paper attached to the document by a ribbon.

This practice goes back to medieval times when the royal seal (usually an impression of a die on wax) confirmed the decisions and decrees of the sovereign. In the same way, individuals and organizations affixed their own seals to letters and documents in order to prevent tampering or ensure authenticity. Today, lawyers and corporations still use seals to certify legal documents and official certificates. Similarly, governments authenticate formal state documents with Great Seals.


7. Official Sport - Curling

CurlingCurling has been played in what is now Saskatchewan since the 1880s. The predecessor of CURLSASK was established in 1904, the year before Saskatchewan became a province.

Saskatchewan has been home to some of the best curlers in the world, including winners of Canadian championships, world championships, the first women's world championships and the first Olympic gold medal in curling. In recognition of the significance of curling for Saskatchewan and the international contribution of Saskatchewan curlers to the sport, the Legislature adopted curling as the province's official sport in 2001. The status of official sport entitles CURLSASK to use the provincial shield of arms on its emblems.


8. Tartans

Saskatchewan District Tartan

Saskatchewan District Tartan

Registered with the Court of Lord Lyon King of Arms in 1961, the Saskatchewan District Tartan is a two-block tartan with seven different shades: gold to represent prairie wheat, brown for summerfallow, green for the forests, yellow for canola and sunflower, red for the western red lily, white for snow, and black for coal and oil.

Saskatchewan Dress Tartan

Saskatchewan Dress Tartan

The Saskatchewan Dress Tartan was introduced in 1997 for competitive highland dancers on the occasion of the Canadian Interprovincial Highland Dancing Championships held that year in Regina. It is a variant of the Saskatchewan District Tartan, with the off-white line of the original tartan becoming the background colour of the dress version.


9. Historic Wheat Sheaf

Saskatchewan Historic Wheat SheafThe historic wheat sheaf was adopted in 1977 as the basic symbol of the province's visual identity program. The free-flowing design, adapted from the wheat sheaves on the shield, expresses the growth of the province and the vitality of its people. In 2013, the stylized wheat sheaf was introduced to replace this historic symbol.


10. Stylized Wheat Sheaf

Saskatchewan Stylized Wheat SheafThe stylized wheat sheaf was introduced in 2013 as a part of the logo of the Government of Saskatchewan. The design features two yellow lines, evoking the historic wheat sheaf, which grow in an upward motion over a green form of the province. This design expresses opportunity, growth and the potential of the province and its people.


As part of the Saskatchewan logo, the stylized wheat sheaf is used to identify the Government of Saskatchewan. The symbol is also used in the logos of other programs and organizations to show their connection to the Government of Saskatchewan.

The stylized wheat sheaf symbol requires permission in order to be used, reproduced or displayed in any material.

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