The Canadian Crown featured on the Royal Coat of Arms is currently undergoing a redesign process to eliminate any religious symbols. This move comes in response to King Charles III’s coronation, which will be followed by the new design.
The Canadian Heraldic Authority is expected to replace the St. Edward’s Cross, which has been on the Coat of Arms since 1957, with a new design that excludes any religious elements. This new design will likely feature symbols such as maple leaves, snowflakes, and stars.
Critics have expressed concern that the redesign could politicize the Crown and Royal Coat of Arms, causing a greater division between the monarchy and the Canadian people. Christopher McCreery, an expert on the relationship between Canada and the Crown, believes that the proposed Canadian Crown is disconnected from the King and the coronation, further distancing the monarchy from the people.
Preston Manning, the leader of the Reform Party, has also raised concerns about the redesign, questioning who has the right to decide on Canadian emblems. He believes that the people of Canada should have been given the opportunity to participate in the redesign of the Canadian Coat of Arms.
Despite concerns from critics, the Canadian government is aggressively promoting the new design, and King Charles III of England has little practical ability to overturn the decision. However, the alterations still need to be authorized by the English Monarch.
Canada has not made any changes to its Coat of Arms since adding the inscription “Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam” in 1994. Officials believe that the Trudeau government is leveraging King Charles III’s decision to use a Tudor Crown instead of the St. Edward’s Crown to push forward with a new “Canadian Crown” and eventually reform the Royal Coat of Arms entirely.
The removal of religious symbols from public spaces is not a new trend and has been practiced throughout history. In 2019, the government of Quebec made it illegal for officials to wear visible religious symbols while on duty, while Joseph Stalin in Communist Russia ordered the removal of all religious art from public schools and government buildings.