Arms of Centre-Val de Loire, France

Centre-Val de Loire

In use since at least 2005

Blazon: Azure three fleurs-de-lis or and a label of as many points argent within a bordure compony argent and gules

Weirdly, I can’t find much information on the origin of these arms, though I’ve found identical files going back to 2005. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they’ve been in use for much, much longer, though. The arms themselves look like a composite of the arms of two former provinces: the three fleurs-de-lis and the label are the arms of both the House of Orléans and the former province of Orléanais. These are, of course, just the royal arms of France differenced, since the House of Orléans is a cadet branch of the Bourbons.The bordure compony seems to come from Touraine, though I don’t know how that originally got started.

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Arms of Prince Albert Edward

Edward VII

From Encyclopedia of Heraldry by John Burke and John Bernard Burke (1844)

The text gives the blazon as follows: “the Royal Arms, differenced by a label of three points and an escutcheon of pretence, for Saxony, viz. barry of ten, sable and argent, a bend treflé vert.”

I was so distracted by the fuckup on the charge of Saxony last week (seriously, how is that a cross? It’s a bend! It’s obviously a bend!) that I missed the other glaring fuckup in the blazon: sable and argent? It’s or! Saxony has never involved argent at all! Argh. Also worth noting is the escutcheon of pretense; we typically see these in the arms of men married to heiresses, but here, it indicates that Edward is also an heir to Saxony, though as a kingdom, the UK takes precedence over a duchy.

The Burkes, bless their status-obsessed little hearts, very carefully place the at-the-time infant Prince Albert Edward (who will, eventually, become Edward VII) above his father due to his status as heir apparent. Victoria and Albert’s first child, Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa, gets her label placed just below her younger brother and just above her father, as second in line to the throne. Despite the fact that this edition was republished in 1844, it doesn’t look like anyone added the arms (or even the label) of Princess Alice, born 1843. Next week, we’ll take a look at a whole bunch of fancy labels that differentiated all the many princes and princesses of the United Kingdom in 1842.

Arms of Villanueva de los Infantes, Spain

Villanueva de los Infantes

Granted 1421

Blazon: Argent a cross of Santiago gules between in bend two escutcheons or four palets of the second, and in bend sinister a lion rampant of the last and a castle triple-towered of the third windowed azure

There might be a better way to describe the positioning of the charges, but I’m not entirely sure what that would be. I’m hesitant to say they’re laid out in saltire, since most of them are different, and describing the individual position of each charge (eg. in dexter chief, in sinister chief, etc.) seems excessive. I ended up going with the bends because the charges seem to naturally fall into two groups – the lion and castle of Léon and Castile, and the shields of Aragon for Enrique and Alfonso, Infantes of Aragon.

Arms of Draßburg, Austria

Drassburg

Granted 1998

Blazon: Per fess azure a passion cross or upon a triple mount in base proper and per pale of the first a griffin counter-segreant crowned and bearing a scimitar in the left of the second and in the right three roses gules, slipped and leaved proper, and of the second between a stag’s attires a cross paté of the first.

I don’t have a direct source for the cross, but it seems like a pretty standard thing to put on your municipal arms if you are a small Christian community. However, I do have sources for the base half of the shield. The griffin – crown, scimitar, roses, and all – is taken from the Esterházy arms, which are fucking amazing. I will have to come back to those sometime in the future, because WOW. The Esterházys controlled roughly one-third of the area that currently forms Draßburg from sometime in the 1620s through 1848. Similarly, the other quarter of the shield is derived from the Zichy arms; they controlled the other two-thirds of the area from 1672 to 1715 and from 1795 to 1848. (The Zichys sold the area to the Mesko family in 1715, but after eighty years’ worth of legal proceedings, the Meskos were ordered to give it back.) If you’re wondering what happened in 1848, well… let’s just say the Austrian nobility went into a sharp decline right around then.

Arms of Basilicata, Italy

Basilicata

Granted 1973

Blazon: Argent four barrulets wavy azure

The barrulets are specifically intended to represent the four major rivers of the region – the Bradano, Basento, Agri, and Sinni. This was apparently one of three proposed coats of arms in the region. I can’t find any previous arms for the region; it looks like it took on the arms of whatever individual or organization was ruling the region at the time.

Former arms of Reusten, Germany

Reusten

Granted 1954 – 1971

Blazon: Or a bend sinister between in chief a crown gules and in base a linden branch vert

Reusten was situated just south of an old Roman road, which was later called the “King’s Road,” and is the source for the bend sinister and crown. The linden branch is a reference to the Gerichtslinde, or “court linden.” Many Germanic tribes would hold courts and legal assemblies under a large linden tree, usually in open fields. Presumably, Reusten has (or had) a Gerichtslinde, but I can’t verify this. And once again, the or-and-gules combination is derived from the arms of the counts palatine of Tübingen (or a gonfanon gules).

Arms of Rauf de Berners

Berners

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Per quarterly or and vert

I did find some evidence that the manor of Berwick Berners in Essex was held by several, probably related men named Ralph de Berners. I’m guessing the second of the three (son to the first, father to the second) is the Ralph referred to here, since he was both a knight and probably alive around the time the Dering Roll was created.