If you’ve ever been traveling outside of Canada and have been stuck at the border or airport waiting, odds are you’ve spent a good deal of time fidgeting nervously with your passport. 

And you may have noticed a bit of a weird thing on the front cover of it, yes there’s a lion but that’s also a unicorn. 

Which begs the question, how in the world did that end up on the Canadian coat of arms?  

Via Wikimedia Commons

The answer is that this is really Scotland’s fault. 

So, as you probably know from history class Canada was once officially part of the British empire, with some French heritage as well. 

Britain, Scotland, and Wales together, along with Ireland at the time, made up the United Kingdom.  

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When it came time to make up a coat of arms for Canada, instead of just creating something new - someone clearly decided that the best move would be to combine the coat of arms from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales together with added parts from the French coat of arms as well. 

Now the reason for the unicorn is Scotland’s fault is because it’s actually Scotland’s national animal.  

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Yes, you read that right. Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn. 

How that’s allowed seeing as it doesn’t actually exist, we have no idea how that came to be.  It does though makes you wonder why some country doesn’t adopt a dragon for its own national animal. 

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As for the rest of the coat of arms, the lion comes from England, there’s a shamrock and a few 3 leaf clovers from Ireland, a Tudor rose from both England and Wales, as well as a couple of gold fleurs-de-lis from France. 

But if you want to blame anyone for that unicorn it’s 100% Scotland.  

Source: Canada.ca