Blazon: Per quarterly I gules in the dexter an eagle rising, wings addorsed and inverted, bearing in the talons a banner argent with the motto “Agen” sable, in the sinister a castle triple-towered, each tower flying a pennon or (Agen); II gules four towers conjoined at the base in cross by a cross paté argent, on a chief azure three fleurs-de-lis or (Marmande); III azure a sun in splendor or (Nérac); IV azure over water in base a bridge of five arches supporting three towers argent (Villeneuve-sur-Lot)
The four quarters each correspond to an important city in the region. I’ll probably cover each city in more detail when the time comes, but for now, four brief overviews: I don’t have a good explanation for the quarter of Agen, but it seems the eagle and castle were used since the mid-thirteenth century, when the city was granted a fair amount of self-rule and privileges. Marmande is a fortified town originally built by Richard I of England; the towers represent the four gates of the city, and the chief of France was granted by Charles VI in 1414. I’m not sure why Nérac has a sun, but Villeneuve-sur-Lot has used the depiction of its local bridge since 1547.
Blazon: Gyronny of eight argent and azure, on a chief or a lion passant guardant or, armed and langued of the second
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that we’ve run into Robert Louis again. As with most of his designs, these are not official arms. The chief is taken from the historical arms of Aquitaine (also known as Guyenne), which also contributed to Gironde’s administrative region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The main part of the shield is a delightful use of canting arms – gyronny for Gironde.
Blazon: Vert on a chief argent a heraldic panther passant sable
These are fairly unsurprising arms, given the municipality’s name and location (on the border of Styria and Carinthia). The arms of Styria are vert a heraldic panther rampant argent armed and incensed gules, so Dürnstein in der Steiermark mostly just borrowed those, with some tweaks to tincture and positioning (and less fire).
Also, yes, heraldic panthers are weird. Very weird. Keep in mind that most of the people drawing coats of arms while these depictions were being established were a. in Europe, and b. had no concept of a panther beyond “ferocious beast sort of like a lion.” There is an unsupported theory that the fire-breathing which is traditionally an attribute of the heraldic panther was intended as a symbol of its wrath, but it’s the Middle Ages. They very well might have just figured panthers breathed fire.
Blazon: Or a pall azure and a chief per pale of the last semé de lis of the first within a bordure gobony argent and gules and bendy of six of the first and second and a bordure of the fourth
I thought these looked like another Robert Louis design, and I was right! It’s unclear whether they’ve been officially adopted or not; honestly, I doubt they have. I’m somewhat less on board with the pall being used as a representation of the letter “Y”; it feels kind of like low-hanging fruit, although admittedly, “Yonne” doesn’t really lend itself to a simple graphic representation. Still, though, I’d almost rather see the “Y” represented as its own charge rather than borrowing the originally-religious symbol of the pall for no reason besides visual similarity. Not my favorite of Louis’ work.
Blazon: Or a chief per pale azure semé de lis of the first within a bordure gobony argent and gules and bendy of six of the first and second and a bordure of the fourth
These are another unofficial Robert Louis creation, but they do look good. These are almost identical to the arms of Saône-et-Loire, with the same chief of Touraine and Burgundy. You’re probably noticing a pattern here: the chief pays homage to former centers of regional power, and the main part of the shield refers to the name of the region (two palets wavy for the rivers of Saône and Loire, and or for… well, the “Gold Coast.”)
Blazon: Azure a house with stepped roof argent, windowed sable on a base vert, on a chief or an antler fesswise sable
I don’t have a ton of information on these arms, probably at least partly due to the fact that Eckenweiler seems to be more of a suburb than a city in its own right. I’m guessing the oddly-shaped house is a reference to a specific local building, which is incredibly common in municipal arms. It could well be the village church; it’s apparently been around since 1789, and, as the only Protestant-majority district in the city, that seems remarkable enough to feature. (This particular bit of land belonged to the Duchy of Württemberg when Duke Ulrich converted his lands to Protestantism, rather than to the Catholic Austria.)
Blazon: Or two palets wavy azure, a chief per pale of the last semé de lis of the first within a bordure gobony argent and gules and bendy of six of the first and second and a bordure of the fourth
Okay, okay, technically these aren’t official arms. They were designed by Robert Louis, a French heraldic artist who is probably most famous for his series of heraldic postage stamps. It doesn’t look like they were ever adopted by the department, but they do look pretty good, so I’m going with it. You may recognize the arms on the chief as Touraine and Burgundy, respectively. I don’t know this for absolute certain, but I’m willing to bet that the blue wavy lines represent the two rivers that give the region its name.