Arms of Dornbirn, Austria

Dornbirn

Initially granted 1655; regranted 1902 and 1929

Blazon: Gules a fess argent, overall a pear tree issuant from a mount in base vert fructed or

Although the name “Dornbirn” doesn’t actually have anything to do with pears (Birnen), the arms are, nonetheless, canting. The municipality became part of the Habsburg possessions in 1380, which they apparently loved so much that when Archduke Ferdinand Charles sold the town to the lords of Ems in 1654, the inhabitants were furious. They refused to acknowledge the Ems as their sovereigns, and promptly raised 4000 guilders (around €47,000 or $52,000 USD) to buy themselves back. Impressed by their loyalty, the Archduke granted the arms above.

However, it might not have been loyalty so much as a deep enmity for Ems; apparently, the lords of that family were really into witch hunts and illegally confiscating property, even more so than most seventeenth-century nobility. After their debt overtook them in the mid-eighteenth century, the inhabitants of Dornbirn proceeded to buy up all of the Ems’ former holdings in the area.

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Former arms of Pfäffingen, Germany

Pfaffingen

Granted 1925 – 1971

Blazon: Azure a fess argent between two molets of six points or

I had this whole thing written out about how the arms could derive from the arms of prominent noble families in the region, namely the Neunecks (gules a fess or, in chief a molet of six points argent) and/or those of the Lustnaus (azure a stag’s head caboshed bendwise sinister), but it turns out that these are the arms of Andreas von Kröwelsau, another local lord. It’s not clear why they went with these family arms in particular instead of one of the numerous other families who lived in the local castles at one time or another, but there it is.

Former arms of Entringen, Germany

Entringen

Granted 1929 – 1971

Blazon: Gules a duck naiant argent on water in base azure, on a chief or an antler in fess sable

It seems like the duck (Ente) was used as a canting symbol for the town long before the arms were formally granted; there are records of it dating back to the late seventeenth century, and it was used pretty consistently (albeit in different configurations) through the turn of the twentieth century. I’m assuming the antler is a reference to the arms of Württemberg, though I can’t find that explicitly stated anywhere.

Arms of Ammerbuch, Germany

Ammerbuch

Granted 1971

Blazon: Or a beech tree eradicated vert, overall a fess wavy in base azure

This is fairly typical imagery for municipal arms – local features with a touch of canting. The beech tree (buche) stands for the Schönbuch, a forest and nature park in the area, while the fess represents the Ammer river. While this particular municipality doesn’t use any symbols from the previous villages that were incorporated into its present form (which is common for modern German municipal arms), there’s still a nod to its origins; the beech tree is drawn with six roots and branches, each of which symbolizes a former town.

Arms of Hohentengen, Germany

Hohentengen
Granted 1682

Blazon: Sable a lion rampant double-queued or bearing between the front paws an escutcheon gules a fess argent

The lion is a reference to the arms of the Habsburgs, and the escutcheon is easily recognizable as the arms of Austria. The region was under Austrian control until 1806. It is possible that this grant of arms was part of an ongoing power struggle between the local lords and the counts in Scheer; the grant may have been a show of support for the lords from Emperor Leopold I.