Coat of Arms
Oliver was granted its coat of arms and flag by the Chief Herald of Canada in 1994. They are a unique expression of the Town of Oliver’s natural and historic heritage.
This is centred on the central facets of Oliver’s geography and history. The green represents the land brought to life by the waters of the South Okanagan Irrigation Project, the wavy blue on gold symbolizing the great channel running across the gold of the dry lands. The sun represents the other essential ingredient in growth as well as a vital element in Oliver’s quality of life.
The apple and horseshoe motif recalls one of the Town’s earlier emblems, honouring the first orchards and the horsepower which was central to early agriculture and transport. The miner’s pick and shovel recall the mining activities in the nearby hills that immediately preceded establishment of the present townsite.
Crest (above the shield)
Rising up out of the coronet, is the head of a Salish woman, in profile. She wears a special crown composed of a gold circle set with two eagle wings each coloured, diagonally, gold and red.
In Canadian municipal heraldry, while helmets and the cloth mantling protecting them are derived directly from the medieval knight’s helmet, the original support for the crest, they can symbolize the determination of citizens to safeguard the community and its resources.
The foundation element of the Oliver crest is the mural coronet, the traditional heraldic symbol for a municipality. Here it is made distinctive to Oliver by colouring the stones gold and setting a frieze of grape leaves around the centre of the crown.
The grape leaves symbolize the newest major product of the region and the continuing prosperity flowing from irrigation.
The head of the Salish woman has several meanings; it refers to the other name of McIntyre Bluff, and honours Oliver’s natural heritage, and the Salish First Peoples, and their Valley homeland. The red and gold eagle wings in her coronet are taken from a key element in the Scottish coat of arms for McIntyre and therefore honour Peter McIntyre, namesake of the Bluff and first orchardist near Oliver.
Compartment and Supporters
The Compartment on which the shield rests and the Supporters sand consists of a section of local fields as they would have appeared before irrigation, set with sage plants in natural colours. Below the fields are stylized wavy bands of blue and white representing the waters of the irrigation project.
On the left side is a California big horn sheep with a body in gold and horns and antlers of green. In heraldry, wherever it is possible, animals should be granted in pure heraldic colours, in this case drawn from the main colours of the shield. Around the sheep’s neck is a collar made of the Okanagan Tartan. On the right side is a gold mare with a mane and hooves of green wearing a similar collar.
The sheep symbolizes Oliver’s special natural setting with the mare honouring the early pioneers. The Okanagan tartan collars make them distinctive, in heraldry, to Oliver, and also refer to domestic arts and the ingenuity of citizens in terms of shaping the community.
“Born of the Waters Blest by the Sun” is a motto combining a salute to Oliver’s beginnings and one of its greatest attractions, the sunny climate.
The field is blue. Across the horizontal centre line is a wavy band of gold. In the centre, on the band is a large gold circle and on it a smaller blue circle. In the centre of the blue circle is a sixteen rayed sun. The flag blends the imagery of the water with the sun and the central “O” for Oliver.