Blazon: Per quarterly argent and gules a cross quarterly counterchanged
These are potentially a variation on the arms of the bishopric of Constance (argent a cross gules.) The town belonged to the monastery of Reichenau from 799 until until about the 13th century, and the monastery was subsequently ceded to Constance. It’s possible that later researchers conflated the two.
Blazon: Per quarterly I and IV argent on a cross azure five crescents or (Piccolomini); II and III paly of four i or four palets gules (Aragon), ii barry of eight gules and argent (Hungary ancien), iii azure semé de lis or, a label of four points gules (Anjou ancien), iv argent a cross paté between four crosses or (Jerusalem)
Ottavio inherited the quarters of Aragon, Hungary ancien, Anjou ancien, and Jerusalem from his ancestor Antonio Piccolomini d’Aragona, who married Maria d’Aragona, the illegitimate daughter of Ferdinand I of Naples. Many representations have Ferdinand’s arms in the first and third quarters, as Maria’s lineage was (though illegitimate) more noble than Antonio’s.
In use since at least 1324; variations dating back to 1055
Blazon: Argent on a cross azure five crescents or
Some sources place the origin of the family and the arms around 508 BCE, or even earlier during Roman times, but this is probably a fifteenth-century embellishment added after Enea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini became Pope Pius II. From the Middle Ages through 1821, Piccolomini marriages were tightly controlled by a consortium to ensure that their considerable wealth and property stayed within the family. Two branches of the Piccolomini survive today – the Piccolomini Naldi Bandini and the Piccolomini Clementini Adami.
Blazon: Per quarterly I and IV azure a bend of five lozenges conjoined or, II and III per pale indented or and gules, overall on a cross ermine a mitre proper
Crest: On a wreath or and azure issuant from a mural crown or charged with a Tudor rose a dexter arm embowed holding a hammer all proper
Supporters: On the dexter a figure representing Art proper vested argent wreathed with laurel vert tied by a riband gules, holding in the sinister hand resting on the shield a book bound of the last and in the dexter a palette with two brushes proper; on the sinister a figure representing Industry habited as a smith, holding in the dexter hand resting on the shield a cupel and in the sinister a hammer resting on an anvil all proper
Mantling: Azure lined or
Both coats quartered here were used by the de Bermingham family at various points in time. The family also quartered the coats, but in opposite quarters; the city changed the order for difference. The city was previously granted arms in 1889, which used a fess ermine instead of a cross, and a mural crown instead of a mitre. The supporters in the previous arms were also reversed, with Industry on the dexter and Art on the sinister.
Blazon: Argent on a cross gules a mitre or; on a chief sable three escallops of the field
Crest: On a wreath of the colors issuant from a mural crown argent a demi-elephant sable armed or and gorged with a wreath of holly fructed proper
Supporters: On the dexter a lion and on the sinister a griffin or, each gorged with a collar, the dexter argent charged with three molets of five points sable, the sinister of the last charged with as many molets of as many points of the second, pendant from each a fountain
Mantling: Gules lined argent
Motto: Non sibi sed toti (Not for self but for all)
The cross, mural crown, and supporters are derived from the arms of the former borough of Holborn, while those of Hampstead yielded the mitre and the holly wreath, and the escallops and elephant are from St. Pancras. The supporters each correspond to one of the Inns of Court in the borough; the lion is for Lincoln’s Inn, and the griffin for Gray’s.
You know what, it could be worse. At least some of the way-too-many charges are interesting – you don’t see a lot of elephants, and I obviously have a soft spot for griffins. Yes, the level of detail on the collars is incredibly nitpicky, and the colors in this depiction don’t entirely match the blazon, but the actual arms themselves aren’t terrible. The argent-cross-gules is a reference to the city arms, and it obeys the laws of tincture, and honestly, the arms of the London boroughs are so weird and visually messy that I’ll just take what I can get.
Blazon: Argent a cross gules in the first quarter a sword in pale point in chief of the last
Crest: On a wreath of the colors a dragon’s sinister wing argent charged with a cross gules
Supporters: Two dragons argent charged on the wings with a cross gules
Mantling: Gules lined argent
Motto: Domine dirige nous (God direct us)
Most of the imagery in the arms of London is connected to the patron saint of England, Saint George, and his legendary slaying of the dragon. The saint’s symbol is argent, a cross gules, which recurs throughout the arms, as does the dragon. The sword is a symbol of St. Paul, to whom the first cathedral in London was dedicated.
I couldn’t not do London. I mean, they’re famous (as famous as arms get, anyways) with a shitton of religious iconography, so I couldn’t ignore them. What I did not expect to find, though, was that the arms were not confirmed until 195freaking7. That’s over five centuries of continuous use, predating the English College of Arms itself, and no one thought to give the capital city of freaking England a grant until after the toaster oven was invented? Nintendo had been around for sixty-eight years at that point! What the actual fuck.