Arms of Schonach im Schwarzwald, Germany

Schonach im Schwarzwald

In use since at least 1989

Blazon: Argent issuant from a crescent or a figure of the Virgin proper, habited azure, mantled gules, crined, crowned, nimbed, and bearing in the dexter hand a staff of the second and in the sinister the Christ Child also proper, habited of the third, crined, nimbed, and bearing an orb of the second

The use of the Virgin Mary in the municipal arms is likely a reference to the town’s staunch Catholicism, even post-Reformation.

Arms of Ralph de Stopham


From the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)

Blazon: Argent three crescents and a canton gules

Ralph appears to have had possession of the manor and lordship of Stopham, which passed down through his family until his great-granddaughter Eva de Stopham married  William de Echingham. After her death, ownership of the manor is unclear, but it did ultimately end up with the Arundel family in the early fifteenth century.

Arms of Almedina, Spain


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.

Arms of Alhambra, Spain


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


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.)