Secret message in the Canadian Governor General coat of arms?

October 4th, 2010

Personal coat of arms of David Johnson, Governor General of CanadaSlashdot highlights another mystery today — what’s the meaning of the binary sequence along the bottom of the personal coat of arms of David Johnston, Canada’s new Governor-General.

“As de facto head of state and the Queen’s representative in Canada he is required to design a personal coat of arms. One modern detail has attracted particular attention – a 33-digit palindromic binary stream at the base. Efforts to decode the meaning of the number using ASCII, Morse, grouping by 3/11 and other theories has so far come up empty (right now it’s a toss up between random, the phone number 683-077-0643 and Morse code for ‘send help – trapped in a coat of arms factory.’) Is 110010111001001010100100111010011 the combination to his luggage, or just a random stream of digits?”

Here’s a theory that I hope might be true. As an educator and former president of a university known for its strength in computer science, maybe he is trying to interest Canadian children in mathematics and computer science by giving them a an intriguing puzzle to work on.