The Canadian Space Agency has a coat of arms with the following creature on it. What is this creature, and why is it there?
A1 Aardvark / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
Space Exploration Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for spacecraft operators, scientists, engineers, and enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
It's not a unicorn, but a pantheon:
The Pantheon is a mythical or imaginary creature used in heraldry, particularly in Britain. They are often depicted as white deer with the tail of a fox and spangeled with purple stars along their back.
They first became popular in heraldry in the 16th century, but had a comeback in technical and engineering fields in the 20th:
Examples are the arms of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, granted in 1955; two pantheons also appear as the supporters of the arms of the Engineering Council (the United Kingdom regulatory body for the engineering profession), granted in 1984.
I think someone thought a beast with stars on it would be appropriate for a space agency.
The formal definition, or blazon, of the coat of arms is
Per chevron in chief Bleu céleste semé of estoiles Or and in base Argent a maple leaf its stem issuant from base Gules and voided of a broad arrow point upwards charged at its tip with a torteau;
A demi pantheon Azure unguled Gules semé of estoiles Or bearing between its forelegs a staff Or flying therefrom a streamer paly Bleu céleste and Or as an auroran arc;
AD FINEM ULTIMUM. This Latin phrase means "To the ultimate end".
"Demi pantheon Azure unguled Gules semé of estoiles Or," in the quasi-French language of heraldry, means "a half pantheon, in blue, with red hooves, sown with gold stars."
Unicorns have........horns. There's no horn. That's not a unicorn. It's a Theow, a wolf with a hooved legs used in heraldry