Arms of Lazio, Italy

Lazio

Granted 1984

Blazon: On an octagon vert charged with another argent, thereon another gules, a saltire party of five; in the center point per pale gules and azure an eagle displayed with wings inverted and crowned argent (Rome); in the dexter chief azure a lion rampant or holding a dagger azure, in chief two branches of oak and laurel ensigned by a circlet, in base two cornucopias conjoined in base, all proper (Frosinone); in the sinister chief, azure on a bend vert fimbriated or between in chief a tower on a mount in base proper and in base an anchor, three ears of wheat of the last (Latina); in the dexter base, gules between two bendlets or the letters SPQS, between each three annulets intertwined, all sable (Rieti); in the sinister base, per fess azure a lion passant guardant or on a base proper and gules a cross argent (Viterbo)

This is…. I don’t… okay. Okay, fine. I don’t have a good explanation for the octagon, or the arrangement of the arms in saltire, but okay. The eighties were a weird time, I guess. The thing is, the actual component coats are all pretty reasonable on their own, and it’s not uncommon for regional arms to incorporate the arms of their component cities/provinces/regions. (I plan on delving further into the individual provincial arms once we get to those provinces.) The arrangement here is just… something else. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Arms of Ergenzingen, Germany

Ergenzingen

In use since at least 2010

Blazon: Per fess azure issuant from the partition line five branches with heart-shaped leaved conjoined in base argent and of the last a lattice sable

I wouldn’t be surprised if these arms were much older than I could verify, since apparently Ergenzingen was awarded the right to hold a market in 1789. I opted to blazon the base half as a lattice rather than fretty since that seemed to be the best translation of the word in German (Rautengitter), and it lacks the characteristic interweaving of frets. I went back and forth on whether to mention the small dots or roundels on the joints, but they don’t seem to be consistent across depictions.

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 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.