In a ceremony at Canberra Theatre today, the ACT coat of arms was handed over from the federal government to the ACT. The handover was a culmination of many years work, and is somewhat of a fitting birthday present to our Capital.
Representatives from both sides of the Government as well as several of Canberra’s cultural institutions were present to witness Katy Gallagher accepted the coat of arms from Kate Lundy, which was stored digitally on what appeared to be a small USB drive in a little bag.
It didn’t make for the most visually impressive handover, but as David Fricker, Director-General of the National Archives pointed out, the all digital nature of the transaction was a sign that the Government is keeping up with the times.
Still if they were really keeping up with the times they wouldn’t have used a USB, everyone knows it’s all about Dropbox these days.
UPDATE: Simon and Katy have a explained the design:
As the creator of the design in a 1927 competition, Mr C.R. Wylie later wrote that he had chosen as armorial bearings a triple-towered castle representing a capital city, and the sword of justice and a parliamentary mace, intersecting below an imperial crown.
The design also includes a white rose, the badge of York ‘in remembrance of the Princes of that House and their visits to the City’. A portcullis, the badge of Westminster, ‘the home of the mother of all parliaments’, was used as the crest, with a gum tree behind it symbolising the idea of Canberra as a garden city.
One white swan and one black swan were chosen as the supporters of the coat of arms. The Latin motto, adopted from the Federal Capital Commission’s motto, was pro rege, lege and grege – translated as ‘for the king, the law and the people’.