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Alberta Symbols

Welcome to Alberta!

 Flag  Seal
Flag and Seal
The Sunshine Province, The Energy Province, The Princess Province
Symbols of State
Flag 1968
Coat of Arms 1980
Provincial Shield 2013
Motto Fortis et Liber
Anthem “Alberta” 2004
Flower wild prairie rose (Rosa arkansana) 1930
Tree lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) 1984
Grass rough fescue (Festuca campestris) 2003
Bird great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) 1977
Mammal Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) 1989
Fish bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) 1995
Stone petrified wood 1977
Gemstone ammolite 2022
Cultural Symbols
Colors Alberta blue and gold (or deep yellow) 1984
Tartan Alberta tartan 1961
Dress Tartan Alberta dress tartan 2000

Symbols of State ˆ

Alberta’s coat of arms features a shield supported by a British lion and a native pronghorn standing on a grassy mount with wild roses. At the bottom of the design is the motto Fortis et Liber (“strong and free”). The crest consists of a royal crown on top of a beaver sitting on a helmet with a silver and red wreath.

The original coat of arms was assigned by Royal Warrant in 1907. The crest, supporters, and motto were added in 1980 to create what is now known as the Alberta Coat of Arms. A minor revision replaced the gentlemen’s helmet with the royal helmet in 2008.

In 2013, the shield was adopted as a separate official emblem known as the provincial shield. It features blue skies above snow-capped mountains with green hills, prairie, and a wheat field in front. At the top is a red St. George’s cross on a white background. The shield also appears on the provincial flag, which was adopted on June 1, 1968.

Alberta also has a provincial song (some sources call it an anthem) titled “Alberta.” Composed by Mary Kieftenbeld, the song was part of a contest to find an original, official song for the province’s centennial celebrations in 2005.

Unfortunately, the song appears to have a few critics. I think it sounds like an infomercial minted in Nashville.

Ecosymbols ˆ

Alberta shares its provincial flower, the wild prairie rose, with North Dakota and Iowa. The provincial tree is the lodgepole pine (adopted on May 30, 1984), which grows straight as an arrow.

Thanks to the efforts of the Prairie Conservation Forum, Alberta gained an official grass, rough fescue, which provides excellent year-round forage for wildlife and livestock. 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 variations of rough fescue.

Alberta is one of three provinces that chose owls for their official bird. The great horned owl was adopted on May 3, 1977 after a province-wide children’s vote.

The Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep became the provincial mammal on August 18, 1989. The bighorn sheep also represents the U.S. state of Colorado.

Flower and MammalBighorn sheep with wild prairie roses.
BirdGreat horned owl perched in a lodgepole pine.

While most Western U.S. states call the cutthroat trout their state fish, Albertans adopted the bull trout on May 2, 1995.

Petrified wood became Alberta’s official stone in 1977. More exciting is the official gemstone, ammolite.

Fish and GemstoneBull trout with ammonite and ammolite.

Cephalopods are a group of mollusks that include octopuses, squids, and nautiluses—marine creatures with tentacles that live in coiled shells. During the Cretaceous Period, which ended 65 million years ago, the seas swarmed with ammonites, similar creatures that sometimes grew to enormous sizes.

Petrified wood and ammoliteAmmonite covered with ammolite (left) and petrified wood.

The fossilized shells of ammonites are often transformed into an iridescent gemstone called ammolite. Found almost exclusively in southern Alberta, ammolite is a reminder that much of the Great Plains lie under shallow seas millions of years ago.

Cultural Symbols ˆ

Alberta’s official colors are Alberta blue and Alberta gold, as specified in the table below. Blue represents the sky, while gold (or deep yellow) represents the prairies. They nicely complement Alberta’s official shield.

  Alberta Blue Alberta Gold
Pantone Coated PMS 286C PMS 136C
Pantone Uncoated PMS 286U PMS 136U
CMYK 100C / 66M / 0Y / 2K 0C / 27M / 76Y / 0K
RGB 13R / 54G / 146B 254R / 186G / 83B
Hexadecimal #0D3692 #FEBA35
Alberta Colors

Alberta has two official tartans, including a dress tartan. Both feature the same colors, with green representing forests, gold wheat fields, blue clear skies and sparkling lakes, pink the wild rose, and black coal and petroleum. The dress tartan also features the color white, representing Alberta’s bright snowy winter days.

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