Arms of Almedina, Spain

Almedina

Granted 1993

Blazon: Or on a mount in base vert a castle triple-towered gules between two flags addorsed, the dexter of the second a crescent increscent argent and of the last a cross of Santiago of the third

The arms of Almedina are an excellent visual metaphor for the Reconquista: a castle between two opposing flags, bearing the symbols of the Almohad Caliphate and the Order of Santiago.

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Arms of Alhambra, Spain

Alhambra

Granted 1992

Blazon: Per pale argent on a mount in base gules a castle triple-towered or and of the first a cross of Santiago of the second; pointé vert a crescent pendent of the first

The castle on the mount is likely a reference to the nearby Castle of Alhambra, which was built on a nearby hill for defensive purposes. It dates back to around the 12th century, and was granted to the Order of Santiago in 1214. According to local legend, tunnels that connect the castle to the town.

These are fairly average arms – nice to see they’re not pulling the “mount proper” dodge, but the castle or on argent is on pretty thin ice – with pretty common charges for the area. The really old stories of secret tunnels are just a great bonus.

Arms of William FitzLel

FitzLel

From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Sable crusilly three crescents argent

The name is also given elsewhere as Filiol; this individual may have had a daughter, Lady Sybil Filiol, who married Sir Giles de Fiennes.

So many of the Dering Roll arms are gorgeous, simple, and visually striking, and then there’s this. It’s not bad, per se, it’s just visually busy. Personally, I think a lot of the semé patterns work best on an uncharged field or ordinaries; putting more charges on top of them is just… a lot. The black-and-white helps mitigate that, though, and the crescents are a beautiful, classic charge. (I partly wonder if the cross/crescent combo is referring to the Crusades, but I think I just have Reconquista on the brain.)

Arms of Alcubillas, Spain

Alcubillas

Granted 1967

Blazon: Per pale argent a cross of Santiago gules and of the last a castle triple-towered or, a crescent pendent of the first

Both the crescent and the cross of Santiago are likely due to the numerous times the town changed hands during the Reconquista. The first historical reference to the town, in 747, occurs on an Arabic map. Pope Lucius III subsequently granted the town to the Order of Santiago in 1181, but it was retaken by the Almohad Caliphate in 1191. It returned to the Order’s ownership in 1213. The castle may refer to a fortress that no longer exists.

There’s a part of me that really wants to read too much into the iconography of the castle being placed under the Islamic crescent rather than the Christian cross, and say that it’s a result of the town originally being under Islamic control, but a much larger part of me knows that’s probably bullshit. (But I want it to be true!)

 

Arms of Agudo, Spain

Agudo

Granted 1984

Blazon: Per pale argent a cross of Calatrava gules and azure three oars palewise in fess, between six crescents fesswise in chief and in base argent; pointé in base vert a base barry wavy of four argent and azure

The crescents are likely a remainder of the area’s time under Arab rule; during the eleventh through thirteenth centuries, the area seems to have changed hands fairly frequently. The Order of Calatrava held the town from 1189 – 1195 and after 1269.

Arms of Gabriel de Rochechouart

Rochechouart

Marquis of Mortemart 1643-1663, duke of Mortemart 1663-1675 (1600-1675)

Blazon: Party of eight I gules a crescent vair (Maure), II azure three fleurs-de-lis or surmounted by a bendlet couped gules (Bourbon), III gules nine mascles 3, 3, and 3 or (Rohan), IV barry of ten argent and azure, three chevronels gules (La Rochefoucauld); V argent a serpent nowed azure, crowned or, and devouring a child gules (Milan), VI gules a chain in saltire, cross, and orle or, charged with a center point vert (Navarre), VII gules a pale vair (des Cars), VIII ermine (Bretagne); overall in the fess point an escutcheon barry nebuly of six argent and gules (Rochechouart)