Arms of Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia

Granted 1999; in use since 1281

Blazon: Argent a cross gules between four Moors’ heads facing to the sinister proper bandaged on the forehead of the field

The four heads on Sardinia’s arms allegedly trace back to Peter I of Aragon and the battle of Alcoraz in 1096. Apparently, St. George appeared above the Aragonese forces (hence the cross), and four of the Moorish kings were killed in the fighting, though I can’t find any specific names. A different legend claims that Pope Benedict VIII granted a similar banner to the Pisans when they came to Sardinia’s aid against Mujāhid al-ʿĀmirī in 1016. In any case, the basic configuration of cross gules plus Moors’ heads appears on Peter III of Aragon’s seal by 1281, and has been in fairly consistent use ever since. The exact depictions of the heads can vary from representation to representation – blindfolded, crowned, etc. – but the current blazon granted in 1999 has them bendata sulla fronte.

I know the image here is of a flag, the depiction of the coat of arms has the heads facing the dexter (their default position) and blindfolded, rather than bandaged around the forehead. While it’s not technically on a shield, I’d prefer to display a device that matches the blazon whenever possible.

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