Ontario: Christianity and Crown

by | March 9, 2014

Ontario’s official motto is “Ut incepit Fidelis sic permanet” (Loyal she began, loyal she remains). Ontario continues to be loyal to Christianity and the British Crown as indicated by Ontario’s official symbols.

Ontario’s flag, adopted May 21, 1965, contains two crosses.


On Ontario’s coat of arms, a black bear draws the eye to the cross at the top of the shield.


The Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P.) crest contains a cross and a crown with a cross.


Finally, less obvious but definitely evident, Ontario license plates have a crown, representing the Crown of Canada. The crown is topped with a cross.


Despite the words of the songA Place to Stand, a Place to Grow (Ontari-ari-ari-o!)  the unofficial anthem of Ontario written for Expo 67, officially, Ontario remains loyal to Christianity and to the Crown of England.

22 thoughts on “Ontario: Christianity and Crown

  1. Pinball

    That’s not a beaver on the Ontario coat of arms, it’s a black bear.

    1. Veronica Abbass Post author

      Thank you for pointing out the error. I corrected it.

  2. Diana MacPherson

    I think Canada should grow up and leave off this monarchy stuff. It would probably go a long way with French Canada as well. I have more in common with French Canadians than a foreign monarch across the Atlantic.

  3. Tyson

    Suggesting we should remove all the symbols is fine, but what about solutions? Too many people suggest things need to change without suggesting alternatives.

    I resolve that when we should offer solutions with our desire for change.
    For example, if we are to remove the symbols of religion and monarchy from the flag, we are left with a mostly plain red flag. I suggest a red background with the trillium as a dark silhouette in the middle.

  4. Bubba Kincaid

    Wow Veronica, thanks for making the job look that much more intractable.

    The argument will obviously be, “Since the founders professed Christianity, we shouldn’t get our shorts in a bunch over what is simply an historical founding artifact, that we should instead be proud of instead of looking at it as connotative of religious significance.”

    The strongest argument against which I can think of being, “Great, we’ll hang them in the ‘History Of Ontario Centre’ and modernize to something more ‘courant'”.

  5. Corwin

    The Cross of St George and the Union Flag primarily represent Englishness and Britishness, respectively, even though they incorporate the quintessential symbol of Christianity. Like the crown, they belong to one of our two motherlands, and I’m glad that Ontario has incorporated them into its official iconography.

    1. Bubba Kincaid

      Great, we’ll hang them in the ‘History of Ontario Centre’ and modernize to something more ‘courant’.

      1. Corwin

        What could be more ‘courant’ than celebrating our historical kinship and continuing partnership with nations that are not just allies, but family?

          1. Corwin

            Our other motherland – at least at a national level. As a province, Ontario doesn’t owe very much to her, and neither do many Canadians as individuals. Nevertheless, I think we all ought to have some filial respect for France’s language, culture and traditions.

          2. Bubba Kincaid

            Well as long as I don’t have to apportion out credit to the Crown for every achievement, minor or grand, that I accomplish.

      1. Corwin

        No, absolutely not. Just honestly responding to what you’ve written. We happen to disagree on this issue, it seems, but I have no intention of deliberately annoying you.

        1. Bubba Kincaid

          However, you seem to be the in the unenviable position of having to be the obstinate exclusivist.

          Maybe an appeal to the inclusivist nature of the Empire?

          1. Corwin

            The Empire wasn’t so much inclusivist as, well, imperialist. In the 18th century the whole project was mainly about seizing territory and resources, and sometime in the 19th the emphasis shifted at least to some degree to exporting British and Christian values as widely as possible. That effort was deeply naive because inhabitants of other parts of the world had their own values, to which they were culturally and emotionally attached.

            I don’t think I’m being all that obstinate, or all that exclusivist, in applauding Ontario for paying tribute to its historical roots. Tyson has at least put forward an alternative design, but in my opinion a darkly silhouetted trillium would be far less inspiring and interesting than Ontario’s current flag.

          2. Bubba Kincaid

            Doesn’t sound all that ‘courant’ to me.

  6. Randy

    You saw what they did to our Trillium logo. Be wary of asking for updates… best to have an alternative prepared in advance.

    (Since our colours are green and gold, and our gemstone is amethyst, I might use a green flag, with white trillium in the canton, and gold-outlined amethyst gem where the shield currently is. It’s a good starting point for discussion, anyway.)

    I don’t mind Ontario’s flag acknowledging our sidekick-to-the-British history. But “two crosses”? We should be clear that it contains four: St. Andrew’s, St. Patrick’s, and two copies of St. George’s.

    You also missed the Great Seal of Ontario, which includes the motto Dieu et mon droit (God and My Right). It has more crosses and a crown.

    It’s been a while since high school… but I don’t think that “she” is in the Latin version of the motto. The Royal Heraldry Society has it as “As Loyal it began, so it remains”. Ontario does not speak for me. I am certainly not loyal to a foreign, absentee, interest-conflicted monarch.

    Don’t forget Pope Day (Bill 72)! It’s still in the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills, and will hopefully fade away there.

    Of course, Catholicism is one of Ontario’s biggest current loyalties, as we continue to fully fund the Catholic school system.

  7. Charles

    Missing from your list on Ontario crosses are the provincial road signs which also sport the crown which has 3 discernible crosses on a crown which actually has 5.

    Not weighing in are any alternative religious groups such as Hindus or Muslims. How do they feel about sporting crosses on their licence plates front and back?

  8. Don Mccarthy

    I don’t think Ontario’s history of United Empire Loyalism is anything to be proud of. Contrary what you may have been taught in school, Loyalists were too cowardly to stand up and join the American rebellion against the British and were sent running to British North America (Canada) with their tails between their legs once the Americans won. The British Monarchy has always represented inequality and inferiority and I find it hard to respect a country or province that still bows down to Royalty from a foreign land. I don’t know where Canadians get off pretending to be patriotic while remaining loyal to a head of state who has historically looked down on them.

    I think that Ontario should get rid of the bland blue crown license plate and replace it with something distinctive to Ontario. A few things that come to mind are the Great Lakes, An American Indian image such as Chief Techumseh, a beaver or Niagara Falls.

    Ontario will always be uncool and lame until it sheds its loyalty to Britain. America may have its problems, but at least they value independence.

    I cover up my crown with white out.

    1. Diana MacPherson

      While I do not like the monarchy (I hope Putin punches Charles in the nose when they meet this summer) and think it is time for Canada to grow up and jettison them, it is inaccurate to portray the UEL as cowards. Most were settlers who, having fled oppression by the English, found themselves in a new conflict (you’re either with us or against us) and when England offered them land, they took it.

      The MacPherson’s were run off their land by the English in Scotland, resettled in Ireland, run off of there so settled in Boston, only to end up in the middle if a war zone. Being no fans of the English, they took what they could to resettle in Nova Scotia.


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