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 Essex College, which was absorbed by the new University on its federation in 1963. 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 wedge-shaped 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 Parlour 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 the Latin version of Psalm 118:66 and meaning “Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge.”
Usage of the coat of arms
The University’s coat of arms is to be used only for official business of the Senate or Board of Governors. Use is reserved for ceremonial occasions such as Convocation.
The Coat of Arms is the official identification of the University of Windsor on diplomas, contracts and other legal documents, as well as on the University seal.
Influence on the current logo
Stylized renderings of the Coat of Arms, developed for use in 1986, take the form of simplified line drawings for one-colour reproduction on printed matter.
They show an obvious influence on the new University of Windsor logo. Besides bearing a similar visual weight and proportions, the shield bears key elements employed in the new design: the fleur-de-lis, the lily, the maple leaf and the stylized bridge across the “W.”
Drawing on this tradition, the new logo adds modern touches to emphasize the University of Windsor’s identity as a post-secondary institution with a vision firmly focused on the future.