1863 graphic design challenge: Motto of Vancouver Island Colony — “Halo Shame”!
A modest proposal…are any of my readers willing to draw the coat of arms described here?
It would make a fantastic t-shirt! 🙂
As far as I’ve yet found, the Vancouver Island Colony never had an official motto; one was proposed, though.
And naturally, it used Chinuk Wawa — to make a scathing political point.
This is how you write “halo shame” in BC’s Chinook-Peipa
…is this Island possessed of a Coat of Arms? If not…I venture to offer the following: The sun in the meridian, shining with all his brilliancy on a young and lovely mermaid rising from the sea, with a monster leech twined round her shoulders, with its head firmly fixed on her breast, with a lot of grasshoppers beautifully illuminated in every direction, while the Chinook words ‘halo shame‘ [hílu shím ‘no shame; shameless’] could be artistically woven round the tail of the leech. The key to armorial bearing would be first, the Sun ‘day’; second, Mermaid rising out of the sea ‘Vancouver Island’; third the leech would represent the system of auction as carried on and brought to the light of day, while the grasshoppers, whose names are legion on the Island, would signify ‘jumpers’…
— Victoria (BC) Colonist, 1863-12-07, p. 3
I’m no expert on V.I. history, but I hear the resentment in this piece loud and clear. I suspect it relates to the colonial government’s attempt to create not a system of easy access to cheap land but instead a British-style landed artistocracy, as explained by UVic history professor John Sutton Lutz.