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).

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Arms of the French Republic

French Republic

In use since 1905; officially adopted 1953

Blazon: Azure a fasces between two branches of laurel and oak, all intertwined with a ribbon or bearing the motto “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” sable

Finally, the current symbol of the Third, Fourth, and Fifth French Republics. Technically, France didn’t officially have national arms after the end of the Second Empire in 1870. This design was formally adopted in 1953 as a response to a request from the United Nations, who wanted to display all the coats of arms of their member states. I’ve found different opinions as to whether or not this counts as a national coat of arms, but I figure if it’s good enough for the UN, it’s good enough for this blog. I’d also like to mention that the design itself dates back to at least 1905, and was intermittently used for formal state occasions, embassies, and consulates. My point here is that the use of the fasces as a national symbol happened well before Mussolini went and ruined it by making it a symbol of authoritarianism, repression, and violence.

Arms of San Lorenzo de Calatrava, Spain

San Lorenzo de Calatrava
Granted 1991

Blazon: Per fess argent a cross of Calatrava gules and or a grill fesswise sable, in base a palm branch embowed proper

The grill is a symbol of St. Lawrence, the patron saint of the town, who was roasted to death. The first records of the town date back to 1588, when a group of peasants told King Felipe II that they were unable to attend Mass because they lived too far from a church.