Arms of Eberstein, Austria


Granted 1968

Blazon: Per quarterly gules and argent, an escutcheon or a boar statant on a mount in base sable, armed of the second, langued of the first

These arms are something of a remix of those of the Counts of Eberstein. (argent a cinquefoil gules seeded azure). The larger shield uses the main tinctures of the family’s arms, and the boar (Eber) does double duty: it is both a canting element and an adaptation of a crest the Ebersteins started using in the early sixteenth century, probably in reference to their name. The mount is intended to be another canting element – a rock, or Stein.

Arms of Eberstalzell, Austria


Granted 1977

Blazon: Argent a bridge of three arches in base gules, issuant therefrom a demi-boar rampant sable

The boar (Eber) does double duty here as both a canting element and a symbol of the town’s connection with Kremsmünster Abbey. The abbey was founded in 777 by Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria, on the site where his son Gunther had been killed by a wild boar. (The last part is legend, but does help explain the abbey’s use of a boar as a heraldic symbol). Eberstalzell was one of a few towns the duke donated to the new abbey. The bridge doesn’t have quite the same long pedigree; it’s a representation of the local autobahn bridge, which is built of stone.

Arms of Eberschwang, Austria


Granted 1979

Blazon: Or on a triple mount in base vert a boar passant sable langued gules

The mount is a reference to the Hausruck mountain range (really more of a hill range; they’re not very high) to the east of the town, and the boar (Eber) was apparently intended to be a canting element. However, this might be a folk etymology; the first recorded occurrence of the town name was “Heurtteswanc.” I’m not sure how “Heurttes” turns into “Eber,” but after 1100 years, anything is possible.

Arms of Ebergassing, Austria


In use since at least 2009

Blazon: Per endorse argent gules a boar’s head couped or and gules a sunflower of the third, overall in base water barry wavy of the first and azure

Unfortunately, I can’t find any information on these arms. There are digital records going back about a decade, and very little else. I’m not even completely sure the second charge is a sunflower. The town was owned by a number of noble families over the years, including Trauttmansdorff, Thonradl, and von Trattner, but I couldn’t find any credible overlap between their arms and those of the town.

Arms of Elystan Glodrydd


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

Blazon: Per quarterly I and IV argent three boars’ heads caboshed sable, II and III per bend sinister ermine and erminois a lion rampant or

The Burkes describe Elystan (whose name they spell Ethelystan) as the Tributary Prince of Ferlys (the country between the Wye and the Severn), and founder of the IV Royal Tribe, which is not named. This seems to kind of line up with an Elystan Glodrydd, or the Renowned, who died around 1010. All I can find about him otherwise is that he was (maybe) the founder of the Cadogan family.

I’m not even entirely sure these are the right attributed arms – most of the other attributions I can find either retroactively assign Elystan the arms of the Cadogan family  (per quarterly I and IV gules a lion rampant reguardant or, II and III argent three boars’ heads caboshed sable) or just give him the first quarter. Thankfully, I haven’t had to see a full-color rendition of the Burkes’ version of the arms; the ermine/erminois division sounds loud and visually unpleasant. Ermine is argent with sable marks, and erminois is or with sable. Add a charge or to that and… well, I’m glad these are almost certainly spurious.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Unlike other saints I’ve covered here, like Saint Nicholas and the three balls or Saint Andrew and the saltire, Saint Valentine doesn’t appear to have any heraldic motifs associated with him (though there’s plenty of fun stuff if you dig into his legend – he’s also the patron saint of beekeepers and protects against fainting). Instead, I’ve picked a few coats of arms featuring that most Valentine’s of motifs – the heart. Fortunately for the squeamish among us, heraldic hearts are typically of the more stylized and less anatomically correct variety, but exceptions do exist.


The best-known heraldic heart (that I’m familiar with) is from Clan Douglas of Scotland. They bear argent a heart gules imperially crowned or, on a chief azure three molets of five points of the field. Supposedly, one of their ancestors, Sir James Douglas died taking Robert the Bruce’s heart on a crusade to the Holy Land – hence the arms.


For a real example of massively self-evident canting arms, look no further than Clan Lockhart. As you might guess from the name, they bear argent a heart gules within a fetterlock sable, on a chief azure three boars’ heads couped of the field. The story goes that Sir Symon Locard accompanied Sir James Douglas and the heart of Robert the Bruce on crusade. He was responsible for carrying the key to the heart’s casket, and apparently ensured it got back to Scotland. I’m skeptical of the accuracy of the story, given how easily these arms could have been derived directly from the name, but it’s a nice legend.


Clement Attlee, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 – 1951 (1883 – 1967) bore azure on a chevron between three hearts or winged argent, as many lioncels rampant sable. Attlee seems to have been the first armiger in his family when he was created Earl Attlee and a Knight of the Garter. The winged hearts were apparently drawn from his boarding school, Haileybury.

While I can’t find a good depiction of the arms of Henry Wingham (? – 1262), he bore gules a heart winged or, probably in reference to his name. Wingham served as Lord Chancellor from 1255 to 1260, and Bishop of London from 1259 through 1262.

Arms of Pescara, Italy


Granted 1928

Blazon: Per pale a river issuant from three mountains flowing into the sea in base, thereon a sailboat, all proper and vert a boar counter-passant also proper

If you’re wondering, yes, Pescara is largely hilly, rising up into mountains, and it is where the Aterno-Pescara river meets the Adriatic Sea. The first half of the shield is basically just a representation of these geographical characteristics (not super creative, but okay). The boar teases a better story, but I can’t find anything about it other than the fact that wild boar are native to the region.

Arms of Chieti, Italy


Arms of Chieti, Italy

Granted 1807?

Blazon: Or a boar’s head erased proper, in chief a yoke gules, nails argent

The story here is that the boar’s head was a symbol of the local Samnite people, allegedly dating back to 258 BCE when it was stamped on coins. I found two different stories about the yoke. It could represent the eventual subjugation of the Samnites to the Romans, or – quite the contrary – it could be a reference to the “battle” of the Caudine Forks, where the Samnites tricked the Romans and forced them to surrender, humiliating them by making them pass under a yoke as a sign of their defeat.

I have no idea of the accuracy of any of the prior information. On the one hand, it goes back so far that the connection seems improbable; on the other hand, this is Italy, and if there’s anything they’re good at, it’s preserving Roman iconography. I think it’s most probable that the symbolism in these arms dates back to antiquity, but it wasn’t actually used in a heraldic manner, much less the above configuration, until much later.

Former arms of Poltringen, Germany


Granted 1933 – 1971

Blazon: Argent a boar passant sable, armed of the field on a triple mount in base proper, in chief a cinquefoil gules

Both elements of the arms evidently derive from the Counts of Eberstein, an ancient regional family that died out in 1660. The cinquefoil was from their coat of arms (argent a cinquefoil gules seeded azure), and the boar (Eber) is a canting element on their name.

Arms of Inzigkofen, Germany


In use since at least 2009

Blazon: Per fess argent a boar’s head erased sable, armed or, langued gules and of the last a stag statant of the third

The name of the town evolved over several centuries from Untzkoven or Ünzkowen to its current spelling. It may be derived from a farm named after someone named “Unzo,” but the ultimate origin is unclear.