The Coat of Arms
1.3 The Coat of Arms
The form of the Letters Patent, issued in 1963 by Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy-and-Ulster Kings of Arms in granting the armorial bearings, was the first of its kind in the history of armory, using the style and title of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Canada and placing Her Royal Arms of Canada in the centre rather than the traditional Royal Arms of British sovereigns as monarchs of Britain.
Gold and blue, the colours of the University of Windsor, predominate in the bearings. Gold and green had been the colours of the former Essex College, which was absorbed by the new University. Blue, gold and white are the colours of Assumption University, now federated with the University of Windsor.
The Shield of Arms consists of a gold background on which are three piles, or wedgeshaped heraldic charges, emphasizing the Christian origin of the University, as well as the arduous nature of academic endeavour.
Each pile carries an armorial charge: the upper two a Maple Leaf and Fleur-de-Lis, both gold, alluding to the historic nature of the seat of the University and the nationalities of the major population groups in Windsor. The lower pile is charged with a silver lily with gold wings, a device taken from the arms of Assumption University.
Over the whole of the shield stretches a symbolic bridge with twin allusions to the location of the University at the Canadian base of the Ambassador Bridge linking Canada and the United States, Windsor and Detroit, and to the principal aims of the University-to bridge chasms of ignorance and join the firm grounds of truth.
Above the shield is the Helm of the corporation, a closed steel vizor lined with red silk. From the Helm rises the Crest, consisting of a Black Greek Cross recalling the association of the Basilian Fathers (the Congregation of St. Basil) with Assumption almost since its founding in 1857.
The Cross stands in front of two red Seaxes, or notched swords, as a cant (or pun) on Essex, the County in which the University is located. The composition is irradiated with gold rays as a further allusion to the County, the "Sun Parlor of Canada." Around the base of the Crest is a Wreath of the University of Windsor colours, blue and gold, and from this, down either side of the Helm, flows the mantling of the same colours.
The gold Supporters on either side of the Shield are a Canadian Deer and a Moose, alluding to the Supporters of the Arms of Ontario and the derivation of the University's academic authority and principal financial support from the Provincial Legislature, but reversed from those of Ontario. The head of each Supporter is placed in the position known as "guardant," that is, looking toward the viewer, forward-looking.
The whole composition is placed on a green mound, or Compartment, at the base of which is the Motto Scroll, inscribed, "BONITATEM, DISCIPLINAM, SCIENTIAM," words taken from a Latin version of Psalm (118) (119)-"Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge".