Probably in use since at least 1987
Blazon: Per pale gules a fess argent and of the last a cross patriarchal throughout, arms in bend sinister of the first
These arms are not to be confused with the house of Hailfingen, who bore pily of three in fess argent and gules (sometimes gules and argent), though it’s certainly possible they were the source of the tinctures. I’m tempted to attribute the cross patriarchal to the heavily Catholic population of the region, but I doubt that’s actually true; the cross patriarchal was much more strongly affiliated with Orthodox Christianity.
Happy Austrian National Day! It doesn’t get much simpler than the Austrian arms, and it’s probably not a surprise that they’re very old. The fess was first depicted in 1105 as the arms of Leopold III of Austria, of the Babenberg dynasty. The earliest proof of tincture is about a century later (due to the inherent limitations of seals, which is where most of the early depictions of arms come from): Frederick II of Austria, great-great-grandson of Leopold III, evidently wore the red and white in 1232.
“But,” I can hear you asking, “is there a highly romantic, implausible, and anachronistic legend linking these arms to the Crusades?” Of course there is! The story goes that Leopold V (grandson of Leopold III, grandfather of Frederick II) fought so hard at the Siege of Acre that his white tunic was stained completely red with blood. When he took his belt off, it left a vivid white stripe, and apparently he liked it so much he made it his arms. (I don’t know.)
The probably-not-a-bloody-tunic remained the arms of Austria until they were formally adopted in 1919 by the First Republic of Austria, with the Germanic black eagle as a single supporter. The eagle also bore a hammer (for industrial workers), a sickle (for farmers), and was crowned with a mural crown (for the bourgeoise). In 1934, the fascist Federal State of Austria changed the single-headed eagle to the double-headed one, probably to strengthen the visual ties to Germany. They also removed the accoutrements. However, when the Second Republic was reestablished in 1945, they promptly went right back to the 1919 arms, with one addition: a broken chain, to symbolize the nation’s liberation from Nazism.
One other thing – although the famous and infamous Habsburgs ruled Austria for a very long time, the Austrian arms are not the Habsburg arms. For as many arms as they eventually picked up and incorporated into truly terrifying assemblages, their house arms are fairly straightforward: or a lion rampant gules, crowned, armed, and langued azure.
Blazon: Azure two swords in saltire or, overall in the fess point an escutcheon gules a fess argent
I can’t really talk about anything to do with this town without mentioning the Battle on the Marchfeld, which was a turning point in the history of the Habsburg family, and therefore, of Europe as a whole. In 1278, Rudolph I of Habsburg defeated Ottokar II of Bohemia, establishing the former’s control over Austria and much of central Europe. They would remain one of the premier ruling families of Europe (sometimes the ruling family of Europe) for several centuries.
Weirdly, I can’t find much on the town’s arms. A scroll through the municipal timeline is worthwhile and interesting – note the Scottish lord who bought the town in 1696 – but not particularly informative from a heraldic perspective. It’s possible the swords are intended to be a reference to the Battle on the Marchfeld, but… I’m probably letting my imagination run away with me there.
In use since at least 2007
Blazon: Per fess wavy azure biletté and issuant from the partition line a lion rampant crowned or, armed and langued gules and of the second a fess wavy of the third
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to dig up much background on these arms; I’m not even completely sure they’re official. The chief half is clearly Franche-Comté, since it’s in that administrative region. The fess wavy in the base half could be a representation of the Doubs river, but I’m not especially confident in that.
(or Lisle) from the Dering Roll (c. 1270-1300)
Blazon: Or a fess between two chevrons sable
Remember Gerard de Lisle from last week? Well, Robert is one of his relatives, probably his father, but maybe his nephew. It took me a while to puzzle out the seemingly contradictory information I found in my sources to create a rough family tree, but this seems to be the gist of it. (Please note that I’m guessing on a lot of this.)
Robert de Lyle/Lisle of Rougemont married Alice FitzGerold sometime in the mid-1200s. They had two children, Warin and Gerard. Warin, as the oldest, inherited his father’s arms and titles; as we discussed last week, Alice granted Kingston and her family’s arms to Gerald. Warin married Alice de Montfort, probably before 1288 when their son Robert was born, and then died in 1296. This Robert inherited his father’s lands in 1310 once he stopped being a minor, and sometime in the next couple years was created the 1st Baron Lisle of Rougemont.
Back to Gerard of last week. He married Alice d’Armentieres and had a son whom he also named Warin, because why be creative when instead you could confuse future researchers? This Warin married Alice le Tyeys (seriously, there are only like four names in this family), had a son named Gerard (SERIOUSLY) in 1304, and then died in 1321. I have no idea how long Grandpa Gerard lived, but if Warin predeceased his father, that would explain why the ownership of Kingston and the corresponding arms passed directly to Grandson Gerard. He got the Baron title in 1357.
Blazon: Azure a city gate argent, roofed gules, in the center chief an escutcheon of the last a fess of the second (Austria); on a chief or, a double-headed eagle displayed gules.
The city was designated as an imperial city in 1278 after holding out for over a week while under siege from the army of the Bohemian king Ottokar II. Rudolf von Habsburg eventually instigated the Battle on the Marchfeld, where Ottokar II was killed. It seems likely that the escutcheon of Austria and/or the imperial eagle in the chief are due to the imperial city status.
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.