Emblems of Alberta
The emblems of Alberta reflect the province's history, natural and diverse landscapes and people.
Coat of Arms
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. It is 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, 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. Royal Warrant adopted the
current Coat of Arms on July 30, 1980.
In September 2013, the shield of the Coat of Arms was adopted as a separate official emblem known as the provincial
shield. Topped by a red St. George's Cross on a white background, the Provincial Shield features azure (blue) in 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
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. It is 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 great horned owl 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, 60 – 90 million years ago. Petrified wood
became Alberta's official stone in 1977.
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 products. It was adopted as
the official tree of Alberta on May 30, 1984.
Alberta blue and gold are the official colours 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 mammal. 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. 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 that was
adopted in September 2004. It pays musical tribute to the province's geography, industry, history and cultural diversity.
Alberta, composed by Mary Kieftenbeld, was part of a contest to find an original, official song for the province's
centennial celebrations in 2005.
Symbols of Distinction:
English and French are the official languages of Canada. The Francophonie, itself very culturally diverse, is a part of Alberta’s past, present and future. The
Franco-Albertan flag, created in 1982, is blue, white and rose, with the fleur-de-lis symbolizing the Francophonie. The stylized wild rose and the blue representing
Alberta, and the two oblique blue and white bands that traverse the flag representing the waterways and routes used by the explorers and early settlers.
Download the images of the emblems of Alberta.
Last reviewed/revised: June 14, 2017