Arms of the Aosta Valley, Italy

Aosta Valley

Granted 1987; possibly in use since 1720

Blazon: Sable a lion rampant argent armed and langued gules

The association of the lion with the region of Aosta (whether as a county, duchy, autonomous region, or city) appears to be both obscure and extremely ancient. It was apparently already in widespread use by noble families of the area, as well as some ecclesiastics, in the twelfth century. The regional government admits they’re not sure of its exact origins, so I’m not sure I’m going to be able to dig anything else up. By the early 1700s, though, the current blazon was firmly associated with the duchy, and it appears on both state seals and as a quarter in other, more complex coats of arms. The ducal line of Savoy-Aosta preferred gules a cross argent within a bordure compony or and azure, but it seems like the lion remained in use for municipal purposes.

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