THE HMAS CANBERRA CRUISE BOOK FOR 2002
History of the Ship's Crest
When the first HMAS CANBERRA commissioned in July, 1928, the interim ships badge consisting of a large letter C.
Later in 1928, arms were granted to the city and in 1929 the federal capital commission authorised the use of the city's arms in the ships badge.The original Latin motto "Pro Rege Et Lege Et Grec" translates to "For The King, The Law And The People".
The second HMAS CANBERRA this was altered to "For Queen And Country". the crown surmounting the badge is an imperial crown, as worn by King George V, rather than the currently used St Edwards crown introduced by Queen Elizabeth II.
The following significant heraldic devices appear as part of the Canberra arms:
The triple towered castle is similar to ones found on the arms of many important cities, and is a symbol of the traditional dignity and importance of the city and conveys the idea of magnificence and grandeur.
The sword is a symbol of executive authority exercised by the Commonwealth Government in the name of the crown.
Crossing the sword is a parliamentary mace which symbolises the law making authority of the Commonwealth Parliament.
An Imperial Crown surmounts the portcullis and the crossover point of the mace and sword
Beneath the castle is the Rose Of York, which forms part of the badge of the Duke Of York, and commemorates the part played by the Duke Of York in the establishment of Canberra as the seat of Australian Government.
A gum tree which is typically Australian, represents the growth and progress of the city of Canberra.
A portcullis is a gate consisting of a framed grating made to slide up and down in stone grooves in the portals of early Norman castles. It signifies the authority to whom the guardianship and protection of the city is entrusted. The portcullis in this crest was adopted from the arms of the City Of Westminster, to serve as a link with that city, the home of the mother of parliaments.
The two swans depict the introduction of the white races and the native black races.