The origin of the iconic Mountie image dates back over 100 years. In that time, our image has become a recognized symbol of Canada, both at home and across the globe.
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A world-famous symbol
Although not an official symbol of Canada, the "Mountie" is recognized as being "Canadian" alongside the famed moose, beaver, mountains and the Maple Leaf. But the Mountie is much more than a symbol. It represents safety, security, and a world-class national police service.
The Mountie nickname dates back to 1897 at Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in London, England. The British newspapers coined the nickname following the first appearance of the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) in red tunic on horseback.
As early as the 1920s, some Hollywood films started featuring fictional RCMP officers, which helped make "Mounties" a household name around the world. By the 1950s, more than 250 English language movies and almost as many novels featured the Mounties. This is where the famous catch phrase The Mountie always gets his man!, first used in an American newspaper in 1877, gained popularity.
Even though we no longer police on horseback, the iconic image of the horse and rider, with red tunic, Stetson hat, high brown boots and black horse, lives on. We remain one of only a few police services in the world that are internationally recognized.
The MP brand
Although not as famous as the Mountie or our red serge, our MP brand is no less iconic. The NWMP first registered this important brand on June 7, 1887. However, it was in use as far back as 1874 as an unofficial brand.
The NWMP first featured the MP branded on the left shoulder of its horses. We stopped branding our horses altogether in 1950.
Later, we painted the MP on our ships, aircraft and toboggans. We now use RCMP badge decals on all of our vehicles instead.
One of our only uses of the MP in the modern era is on our horses' shabracks (saddlecloths). This practice dates back to the 1920s.
We're proud to represent and be ambassadors for Canada.
Each year, we receive hundreds of requests for our officers to attend events, both at home and around the world. A living spectacle of Canadian heritage and history, the Musical Ride has thrilled millions of people in Canada and abroad.
We're part of the fabric of our communities. With a strength of over 30,000 proud employees, we care about our work, our communities and each other. Together, we're keeping Canadians safe by staying focused on our vision: People first | Policing excellence | A safer Canada.
Protecting our image
What most people don't know is that our name, image and marks are protected under the intellectual property laws of Canada.
Many people and businesses at home and abroad ask permission to use our image for things like:
- TV shows
- collectibles and clothing
Some of the items protected by intellectual property laws include our:
- communications products
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police or R.C.M.P (Gendarmerie royale du Canada or G.R.C in French)
- any other combination of letters relating to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- any likeness of a uniformed police officer
We do not engage in activities where we could be perceived as advertising or recommending a private individual's or business's products or services.
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