The shield, a blue saltire on a white field, is a simple reversal of the Scottish flag (a white saltire, Saint Andrew's cross, on a blue field). It is also charged with an inescutcheon bearing the royal arms of Scotland, a gold shield with a red rampant lion in a double border decorated with fleurs de lis.
The crest is referred to in the motto, placed above the shield in a Scottish tradition, which reads Munit haec et altera vincit (One [hand] defends and the other conquers).
The supporters are the unicorn from the royal arms of Scotland which is now borne by the British monarchy, and a member of the Mi'kmaq[?] First Nation indigenous to Nova Scotia, who in the heraldic language of the 17th century was blazoned a "savage."
The compartment includes thistles as well as the trailing arbutus[?] or mayflower, the floral emblem of Nova Scotia, added when the arms were reassumed in 1929.
The old arms having been forgotten by Confederation in 1867, a new coat of arms was prepared. This had a salmon on a blue band between three thistles, on a gold field. When the old coat of arms was rediscovered, pressure to restore it grew, and it was reassumed in 1929, with the newer coat being abandoned.
The 1867-1929 shield may be blazoned Or, on a fess wavy azure a salmon between three thistles slipped and leaved proper.
The current coat is blazoned as follows:
(Note: The Royal Arms of Scotland are, in turn, blazoned Or a lion rampant within a double tressure fleury-counter-fleury gules.)
Canada - Alberta[?] - British Columbia[?] - Manitoba[?] - New Brunswick - Newfoundland and Labrador[?] - Northwest Territories[?] - Nunavut - Ontario[?] - Quebec - Prince Edward Island - Saskatchewan - Yukon[?]