The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
Heraldry Today
  • Print Preview
  • Print: 
  •  Send to Facebook (Opens in a new window)
  •  Send to Twitter (Opens in a new window)
  • Send to E-mail (Opens in a new window)
  • Share: 

Reference Material


Flagscan, published by the Canadian Flag Association. A colourful publication examining the world of flags from a Canadian perspective.

Heraldry in Canada, published by the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada. Since 1966, this journal has been an important source of information on the subject of Canadian heraldry. The Society also publishes a newsletter, Gonfanon.


Beddoe, Alan, revised by Strome Galloway, Beddoe's Canadian Heraldry, Belleville, Ont., Mika Publishing Co., 1981, 224 p. Somewhat out of date now, but a good source of information about pre-1988 heraldry in Canada.

Brooke-Little, John, An Heraldic Alphabet, revised edition, London, Robson Books, 1996, 234 p. A useful heraldic dictionary by a veteran English herald.

Friar, Stephen, A Dictionary of Heraldry, New York, Harmony Books, 1987, 384 p. An excellent resource with superlative artistic examples.

Greaves, Kevin, A Canadian Heraldic Primer, Ottawa, Heraldry Society of Canada, 2000, 56 p. Very accessible yet thorough. Ideas about heraldic design are included, and there is substantial Canadian content. Available from the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada.

Gwynn-Jones, Peter, The Art of Heraldry: Origins, Symbols, Designs, London, Parkgate Books, 1998, 128 p. The author is the present Garter King of Arms in England, and this book contains some interesting recent English grants.

Moncreiffe, Iain and Don Pottinger, Simple Heraldry, Edinburgh, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1953, 64 p. A delightful classic, the work of two Scottish heralds.

Neubecker, Ottfried, Heraldry: Sources Symbols and Meaning, London, McGraw-Hill, 1976, 288 p. Profusely illustrated, it examines each component of a coat of arms.

Paston-Bedingfeld, Henry and Peter Gwynn-Jones, Heraldry, London, Bison Books Ltd., 1993, 160 p. A good overview of heraldry by two English heralds, illustrated with examples from the College of Arms in London.

Pastoureau, Michel, Heraldry: an Introduction to a Noble Tradition, New York, Harry N. Abrams Inc., 1997, 144 p. A beautiful book by a leading French scholar.

Slater, Stephen, The Complete Book of Heraldry, London, Lorenz Books, 2002, 256 p. A lavishly illustrated and wide-ranging introduction to heraldry. This is the first international publication that gives substantial coverage of Canadian heraldry.

Swan, Conrad. Symbols of Sovereignty, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1977, 272 p. A historical overview of national and provincial arms, flags and seals.

Symbols of Canada, Ottawa, Dept. of Canadian Heritage, 2002, 59 p. The most recent update of the federal government’s guide to national and provincial symbols, available from Publications Canada. Online version. 

von Volborth, Carl-Alexander, The Art of Heraldry, Poole, Dorset, Blandford Press, 1984, 224 p. This book contains some valuable design advice as well as an overview of artistic styles through the centuries.

von Volborth, Carl-Alexander, Heraldry: Customs, Rules, and Styles, Poole, Dorset, New Orchard Editions, 1981, 229 p. This work is filled with interesting examples, with a focus on European personal heraldry.

To obtain a list of periodicals and books in French, please visit our website.

Date modified: October 28, 2013