Former arms of the House of Scaligeri

Scaligeri

In use 1262?-1551?

Blazon: Gules a ladder in pale argent

These arms are a classic example of canting arms – “la scala” is “ladder” in Italian, which is almost identical to the family name of Scaligeri or della Scala. The first recorded della Scala was a clothes merchant named in an 1180 document. The Scaligeri later ruled Verona from 1262 through 1387, when they were ousted after a few decades of fratricide and tyranny. However, they made numerous unsuccessful attempts to recover the city, proving half the truth in their family motto, Nec descendere nec morari (neither descending nor stopping).

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Arms of Torralba de Calatrava, Spain

Torralba de Calatrava

Granted 1975

Blazon: Per fess argent a cross of Calatrava gules and azure a tower of the first

Whatever kind of shade some ancient writers throw on canting arms, I love them. It’s like all the best parts of puns and linguistics put together! It’s especially satisfying when every element of the arms matches a component of the name in question. The “de Calatrava” clearly corresponds to the cross of Calatrava, from the military order that occupied much of the south of Spain during Reconquista. The first part of the name is covered in the base half of the arms – “torre alba” being a rather poetic way of saying “white tower” in Spanish. It’s possible the white tower in question is a direct reference to the town’s old fortress (which had a church built on it more than 500 years ago), but that’s pure speculation.

Arms of Sankt Georgen im Schwarzwald, Germany

Sankt Georgen

Granted 1958; in use since 1900

Blazon: Gules a representation of St. George proper armored or, mounted on a horse saliant argent, caprisoned of the second, slaying a dragon in crescent vert

The earliest depictions of the municipal arms show the arms of Baden (or a bend gules) in the chief, with the St. George and the Dragon motif in base. The Baden arms were dropped after Sankt Georgen became a city in 1891.