Former arms of Reusten, Germany

Reusten

Granted 1954 – 1971

Blazon: Or a bend sinister between in chief a crown gules and in base a linden branch vert

Reusten was situated just south of an old Roman road, which was later called the “King’s Road,” and is the source for the bend sinister and crown. The linden branch is a reference to the Gerichtslinde, or “court linden.” Many Germanic tribes would hold courts and legal assemblies under a large linden tree, usually in open fields. Presumably, Reusten has (or had) a Gerichtslinde, but I can’t verify this. And once again, the or-and-gules combination is derived from the arms of the counts palatine of Tübingen (or a gonfanon gules).

Advertisements

St. Stephen’s Day

Today is the feast day of St. Stephen of Hungary, the very first King of Hungary, canonized in 1083. (In addition to Hungary, he is also the patron saint of kings, masons, bricklayers, and severely ill children.) In honor of him and the nation he founded, I figured we’d take a look at their arms.

Hungary

The nation of Hungary bears per pale barry of gules and argent and of the first, a cross patriarchal paté of the second issuant from a crown upon three mounts in base all proper. I appreciate that it’s a union of old and new(er) arms, and the repeated gules and argent help give the arms a visual unity. 

The dexter arms, barry of eight gules and argent, were used by the Árpáds dating back to 1202. Supposedly, the four white stripes represent the four major rivers – the Danube, Tisza, Dráva, and Száva, which is just boring enough to be plausible. The explanation could just as easily be a post hoc rationalization, though. Depending on the particular ruler and who was drawing the arms, sometimes the red stripes were charged with lions of various positions (passant, respectant, etc.). There are also a few depictions that add linden leaves, such as the Golden Bull of 1222 displaying the seal of Andrew II.

The use of the patriarchal cross is only slightly younger than the bars; Béla IV used it on a royal seal around 1235. However, the mount doesn’t show up for another 35 years or so until the reign of Stephen V. The patriarchal cross was in fairly consistent use until the Catholic House of Anjou came to power in 1308. They impaled the arms of Hungary ancien with the azure semé de lis or of France. With the exception of Louis the Great, the patriarchal cross didn’t reappear in the royal arms until Władysław III in the 1440s. After that, Hungary ancien and Hungary moderne were both in fairly common use in various royal arms (please don’t make me talk about the Habsburgs, please don’t make me talk about the Habsburgs, you thought Liechtenstein was bad, have you seen some of the Habsburg arms?). The combination was popular enough that it was also used by republican governments, and it was reestablished as official in 1990. (From 1957 to 1990, the arms were tierced per fess gules, argent, and vert, which just seems like a cheap knockoff of Italy to me.)

Interestingly, what’s going on around the base of the cross in any particular version can tell you a lot about what was going on with the political situation of Hungary at the time. Louis the Great seems to have been the first to add the crown to the patriarchal cross, and it stuck around until the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. At that point, the crown was removed from the arms as a symbolic rejection of the monarchy, and replaced with a laurel wreath instead. Similarly, the First Hungarian Republic used the ancient-and-moderne combo, but without any crown at all. The crown didn’t really come back until the current version of the arms, and it sounds like it was a minor point of contention, but they obviously ended up going with the crown.

Arms of the borough of Amber Valley

Amber Valley

Derbyshire, England

Granted 1989

Blazon: Vert a pale wavy or within a bordure argent charged with five horseshoes sable, on a chief of the second between two lozenges a cresset sable fired proper

Crest: On a wreath of the colors the battlements of a tower proper issuant therefrom between two croizers or an oak tree also proper fructed and ensigned by a crown of fleurs-de-lis of the first

Supporters: On the dexter a unicorn argent armed and crined or gorged with a collar pendant therefrom a cross flory gules; on the sinister a leopard proper gorged with a collar gules pendant therefrom a fleur-de-lis or

Mantling: Vert lined or

Motto: Per laborem progredimur (By hard work we progress)

The pale wavy evidently represents the river Amber, while the lozenges and cresset symbolize the coal and iron industries. The horseshoes on the bordure are taken from (one of the versions of) the arms of the Ferrers family.

Arms of Pedro Muñoz, Spain

Pedro Munoz

In use since at least 1984

Blazon: Per quarterly I sable a cross of Santiago gules, II vert a castle triple-towered argent, windowed sable, III gules a crown or, IV azure two clasped hands, in chief a baton and sword in saltire argent

The base two quarters are both references to the previous arms, which incorporated both the crown of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and the sword and baton as symbols of civil and military authority.

Arms of Dechantskirchen, Austria

Dechantskirchen

Granted 1974

Blazon: Per bend argent and vert, in chief a sheaf of wheat bendwise or surmounted by a sickle palewise of the first; in base a palm leaf of the second bendwise ensigned by a crown gules

The palm and crown represent the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the patron saint of the town, while the sickle and wheat allude to the importance of local farming.

Arms of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

Kingston upon Thames

London, England

Granted 1966

Blazon: Azure three salmon naiant in pale argent finned and tailed gules

Crest: On a wreath of the colors issuant from a wreath of bay leaves vert banded or a demi-stag proper gorged with a crown of or pendant therefrom an escutcheon ermine on a chevron vert between two chevronels the chief per pale azure and gules, the base per pale gules and azure, a cross paté or, holding between the forelegs a fountain

Supporters: Two stags proper gorged with a ribbon argent pendant therefrom an escutcheon azure issuant from the base an elm tree proper in front of a sun rising or and resting the interior hind hoof on a charred woodstock proper

Compartment*: A grassy mount proper supported by a fillet wavy pre fess wavy argent and azure

Mantling: Azure lined argent

The arms are derived from the historical arms of the borough, recorded as far back as 1572; the three salmon refer to three fisheries mentioned in the Domesday Book. The escutcheon on the crest bears the arms of the Borough of Malden and Coombe, and the supporters’ escutcheons show the arms of the Borough of Surbiton.

*Compartments are usually left to the discretion of the artist, not specified in the blazon.