Coat of Arms
Granted by Letters of the King of Arms, H.M. College of Arms, London, dated 23 April, 1979
Argent a bar wavy azure between three choughs proper, each holding in the dexter foot a cross formy fitchy sable, on a chief gules a lion couchant guardant.
On a wreath of the colours, within a circlet of six mullets each of eight points or, a mount vert issuant therefrom a cross formy fitchy sable entwined with a rose argent, barbed, seeded, stalked, leaved and slipped proper.
On either side a sea-horse argent gorged with a collar wavy azure charged with two Polar Stars or, one being manifest, and holding in the mouth a sprig of Canterbury Bell proper with five flowers azure.
MAGNUM NOMEN HABEMUS "We bear a great name"
Perched upon two sprigs of Canterbury Bell in saltire proper each with three flowers azure a chough proper holding in the dexter foot a cross formy fitchy sable. Council Badge
The Shield identifies the situation of Canterbury and the source of its name, being based on the pattern of the ancient shield of Canterbury, Kent, England, which displays a gold lion on red above the three choughs (black crow-like birds with red beaks and legs), attributed as the arms of St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury 1162-1170. To the choughs is added a blue wave for Cooks River, and each holds a distinctive black cross from the arms of the Archbishop of Canterbury. On the red 'chief' at the top is the gold lion taken from the former Council seal.
The Crest, set on the usual helmet with its twisted wreath and decorative cloak in the livery colours of the arms, white and blue, which are also those of the State, refers to the foundation and naming of Canterbury by the Reverend Richard Johnson from Yorkshire, appointed as the State's first chaplain in 1786. A ring of gold stars from the State arms encloses a grassy mound representing Johnson's grant of Brickfield Hill in which is fixed the Canterbury cross to denote his foundation of the Church in the place named Canterbury Vale, an act which he clearly saw as a parallel to the pioneer work of St. Augustine at Canterbury, England, in 597 A.D. His Yorkshire origins are indicated by the White Rose of York, which appeared in the previous device.
The Supporters are a marine version of the White Horse of Kent, England, of which the City of Canterbury is the capital, said to have been borne on the standards of the Jutes who settled in Kent in the 5th century, and perpetuated in the arms of the Kent County Council. These 'sea-horses' denote coastal or river traffic, here identified by the blue wave from the shield denoting Cook's River, charged with the Polar Star from Cook's arms. In their mouths are sprays of the Canterbury Bell flower, a perfect heraldic reference to the name, taken from the former seal.
The Badge is a separate emblem, never placed on a shield, used by itself for purposes for which the entire Coat of Arms would be unsuitable. A prime function is as the only part of the Armorial Bearings which may be allowed for use by local organisations. The Badge combines very simply the essential Canterbury symbolism, with the chough and cross from the shield set upon two crossed sprigs of the Canterbury Bell. The Motto, adapted from Cicero, means 'We bear a great name' in reference to Canterbury's illustrious 'ancestry'. The Armorial Bearings were designed by H. Ellis Tomlinson, M.A., F.H.S., of Thornton Cleveleys, England.
Prior to Council having an official logo, the Coat of Arms was the standard symbol used for display purposes on Council vehicles, signage, and anywhere else as deemed appropriate. When it was decided that Council was to officially adopt a logo, is was requested that it be illustrative of the area, easily identifiable and distinctive. In 1990, Council's Engineering Department produced the logo as we have it today. The two C's are black and white and the wave that intersects them is light blue and represents the Cooks River.