For much of its history, Surrey had used the beaver as a corporate emblem. The coat of arms for Surrey was developed by a Committee of Council in 1986-1987, which references to the symbol, combining an interesting mix of geographic, historical and economic allusions.
It was noteworthy that green and gold representing the land and economic wealth were chosen as the dominant colors. In the shield, a gold beaver was placed at the centre, as the historic emblem of the Corporation. On either side were two wavy bars of white and blue, representing the two main rivers in the municipality, the Serpentine and Nicomekl. In the upper part of the shield, five gold stars were set, one for each of Surrey's five historic town centres. At the base of the shield was a representation of the Peace Arch monument, symbolizing Surrey's southern border at the international boundary.
The crest contained a single element, a Salish canoe, in gold, recalling the local First Nations and, particularly, their famous trading route, the Semiahmoo Trail in the southern part of Surrey along the Nicomekl.
The supporters, on the left a thoroughbred horse and on the right a farm horse, symbolize the historic recreational and agricultural role of horses in the development of Surrey and its present day amenities. The thoroughbred's steel collar and pendant feature, for the first time in heraldry, binary digits which are the basis of computer language. They, and the communications tower, salute the community's growing technological sector. The farm horse wears a collar set with ermine spots, a reference to the heraldry of Surrey's English namesake, with a pendant of gold fir tree, to honor the community's forest landscapes. The compartment is set with a unique collection of local plants and flowers; trilliums, maidenhair, ferns, Easter lilies and pink fawn lilies, representing the riches of the natural environment. The motto, PROGRESS THROUGH DIVERSITY, was chosen by the Committee to refer to an optimum approach for human economic development.
The City Council of the City of White Rock was the first municipality in Canada to request a grant of arms from the newly established Canadian Heraldic Authority. When the Authority was less than two weeks old, then Mayor Gordon Hogg submitted Council's request of June 16, 1988.
The Patent itself was completed February 16, 1992 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the City's incorporation April 15, 1957. This milestone anniversary was marked April 10 by a visit of Governor General Ramon Hnatyshyn and his wife. During the visit, a special ceremony was held at First United Church.
In the shield, blue and white, the colors of the sea and sky predominate and the City's Oceanside landmark, the great White Rock, rises above the waters of the Bay. Above it is a Salish salmon symbolizing the riches of the natural landscape and honoring the Semiahmoo People, the first inhabitants of the area.
In the crest, the crown is the traditional heraldic symbol for civic government. In this case, it is ornamented with silver maple leaves and stars to indicate White Rock's proximity to the international boundary. Above, the gold demi-sun testifies to White Rock's mild, sunny climate and its attractions as a resort.
The supporters, a mermaid and merman, honor the men and women who created the City as well as the spirit of the sea. The mermaid wears a medallion featuring the masks of tragedy and comedy, as an emblem of White Rock's cultural life and a floral crown, a symbol of the City's gardens. The merman's medallion shows a steam locomotive wheel, representing transportation heritage. At the base, the compartment is of sea sand featuring sandcastles, representing informal recreation on the City's magnificent beach and White Rock's legendary sandcastle competition. Between the castles is a medallion showing the City's famous pier.
The motto, which was one of the Committee's earliest choices, expresses important characteristics and aspirations of the City.