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Delta, British Columbia

Last modified: 2005-02-12 by
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[Delta BC flag] by Dean McGee


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Founded 1879 as a District Municipality. Area 183.78 km2, population 96950 (2001 census). The district comprises 3 communities: North Delta, Ladner, and Tsawassen (or South Delta), so the triangle in the arms and flag supposedly represents the three areas, of course the logo also represents the Greek letter of the same name. The district's old logo showed the triangle and circle, with a stylized boat's prow at the top. Delta lies on the Delta of the Fraser River, with a land boundary to Point Roberts, Washington, which is otherwise cut off from the rest of the United States. The coat of arms was granted by Lord Lyon in the late 80s and confirmed by the Canadian Heraldic Authority after its foundation (so Municipal Hall has two Letters Patent for the arms on display: one Scottish and one Canadian)

Robert D. Watt, Chief Herald of Canada says (in The Greater Vancouver Book) "The new coat of arms was developed by a committee of Council headed by then-Mayor Ernest Burnett and the design synthesized important elements of the history, geography and economy of the municipality.

The shield is particularly striking and is patterned very closely on the Delta logo designed by Robert Miller in 1969. The green field represents Delta's rich farmlands. In the centre, the silver disc represents the sun, enclosed by the silver triangle, referring to the Greek letter.

The crest is composed of the red and white mural coronet, symbolizing a Canadian district municipality and the upper half of a silver ship's wheel, for water based commerce.

The two silver horses represent Delta's foundation industry, agriculture, and its ongoing importance to the community as well as the corporation's strength. Each horse is distinguished by collars and medallions referring to two industries, grain growing and fishing.

The compartment symbolizes the municipality; green fields bordered by the Sea and the River and includes symbols for the Fraser [River] and Boundary Bay [an arm of the Pacific Ocean].

The motto [OURS TO PRESERVE BY HAND AND HEART] invites citizens to conserve and strengthen Delta's special qualities."

It should probably be noted that the white symbol in the shield has been recoloured a golden yellow on the flag. I seen to recall as a former Delta resident that they had hoisted a flag with the symbol in white (and the background looked black to me, but it was probably very dark green). They may have even tried a flag with the full achievement on a white bedsheet, but I don't think these are worth inclusion.

The symbols on the arms allude to the agricultural roots of the district, but it also includes two airports (one international, one private), a major B.C. Ferries terminal at Tsawassen, and several industrial areas and seaport facilities including the massive coal facilities at Roberts Bank, which can load up to 260 000 tonnes of coal on a single ship.
Dean McGee. 30 December 2002