Arms of Dordogne, France


In use since at least 1836, possibly since 1356

Blazon: Gules three lioncels or, armed, langued, and crowned azure

The arms are apparently those of the counts of Périgord, a peerage created in 845 by Pépin I. Impressively, the same family kept the title until 1399, when it returned to the royal house of Orleans. It was granted to a few different houses after that, before the title finally became defunct in 1604. A seal dating to probably the mid-thirteenth century shows a very similar coat of arms (minus the tinctures, of course). Dordogne contains essentially all of the former region of Périgord, so it makes sense that the arms would transfer as well.

Arms of Deux-Sèvres, France


In use since at least 2008

Blazon: Gules two bars wavy argent between five towers in saltire or

I’m somewhat skeptical of the official status of these arms, but they’re pretty widely cited. I assume (possibly incorrectly) that the two bars represent the two rivers referred to in the department’s name – the Sèvre Nantaise and the Sèvre Niortaise. You know, two Sèvres. Also, this particular depiction is not great – the two towers in base are not supposed to be cut off by the edge of the shield. I suspect the creator just didn’t resize the tower charge appropriately.

Arms of Creuse, France


In use since at least 2006

Blazon: Azure semé de lis or, on a bend gules three lioncels rampant argent

Again, I’m unsure of the official status of these arms, but they are a reincarnation of the arms of the county/province of La Marche. The boundaries of the former county and the current department are nearly identical, so it’s understandable the two would end up conflated. La Marche kept ending up in the hands of the French crown and/or the Bourbons, so I’m guessing that’s where both the fleurs-de-lis and the bend gules come from; compare the arms of the Dukes of Bourbon. The lioncels were probably added for difference.

Arms of George I

George I

From Encyclopedia of Heraldry by John Burke and John Bernard Burke (1844)

Blazon: Per quarterly, I gules three lions passant guardant in pale or armed and langued azure (England) impaled with or a lion rampant within a tressure flory counter-flory gules (Scotland); II azure three fleurs-de-lis or (France); III azure a harp or stringed argent (Ireland); IV tierced per pale and per chevron I gules two lions passant guardant or (Brunswick), II or semé of hearts gules a lion rampant azure (Lüneburg), III gules a horse courant argent (Hanover/Westphalia), in the fess point an escutcheon gules the crown of Charlemagne or (Archtreasurer of the Holy Roman Empire)

George preserved the first three quarters of Anne’s arms, but the fourth quarter represents a very condensed version of his previous arms as Elector of Hanover. Brunswick and Lüneburg were part of his personal holdings which he received from his father; the white horse is the ancient symbol of Hanover and Westphalia, of which he was the Elector. (Not that the arms of the Elector of Hanover are actually that simple, but including all of them seems to have been a bridge too far even here.) The crown of Charlemagne is not connected to any particular piece of land, but it is instead the heraldic representation of the purely ceremonial title of Arch-Treasurer of the Holy Roman Empire.

I swear to God, I don’t think the Burkes actually know what Saxony is. In their version of this blazon, they specify the white horse is for Saxony. It’s not. It’s Westphalia, or Hanover, or potentially Lower Saxony, but that is not the same thing as Saxony at this point in history. Given the Burkes’ previous fumbles on the Saxony arms, I’m really starting to question their grasp on this. Their British heraldry seems fairly solid, especially once they hit more recent history, but I’m really not confident in their grasp on Continental arms.

Arms of Corrèze, France


In use since 1975

Blazon: Per quarterly I or two lions passant gules (Comborn); II chequy gules and or (Ventadour); III bendy gules and or (Turenne); IV or three lioncels rampant azure armed and langued gules (Ségur)

I’m not entirely clear on the official status of these arms, but I really can’t resist the history they contain. Each of the quarters belongs (or belonged) to four viscounts who held the territory of Corrèze (or Bas-Limousin) during the Middle Ages. I can’t necessarily vouch for the antiquity of the quartered coat, but each of its component coats go back to at least the Middle Ages. The four viscounties were formally incorporated into a single entity in 1790 as part of the National Assembly’s administrative reforms.

Arms of Anne, Queen of Great Britain


From Encyclopedia of Heraldry by John Burke and John Bernard Burke (1844)

Blazon: Per quarterly, I and IV gules three lions passant guardant in pale or armed and langued azure (England) impaled with or a lion rampant within a tressure flory counter-flory gules (Scotland); II azure three fleurs-de-lis or (France); III azure a harp or stringed argent (Ireland)

Anne had a lot of different arms in her life. Presumably, before her marriage to George, Prince of Denmark in 1683, she would have borne the Stuart arms – the same as Mary, minus the escutcheon of pretense of Nassau – with some kind of difference, though I can’t confirm what it would have been. Upon her marriage, she impaled the Stuart arms with George’s arms. (He bore the royal arms of Denmark, which are a trip and which I’ll have to cover someday, with a label argent of three points, on each point as many ermine marks sable.) When William died in 1702 and she ascended to the throne, she bore the Stuart arms alone; as she was no longer Princess of Denmark by virtue of being George’s wife, she wouldn’t have had the right to the impaled arms. These are Anne’s arms specifically as Queen of Great Britain – so, post-1707 and the Acts of Union. Evidently, impaling England and Scotland in the same quarter was supposed to symbolize their new, closer relationship. You’ll notice that the monarchs of Britain still haven’t quite relinquished their heraldic claim to France.

Arms of Charente-Maritime, France


In use since 2002?

Blazon: Per pale azure a mitre argent between three fleurs-de-lis or and gules a partridge close to the sinister crowned of the third

I’m not sure whether these are official arms, or how long they’ve been used, but apparently the dexter half is the arms of Saintonge and Aunis, two former provinces that are now included in Charente-Maritime. It’s possible that Saintonge might be canting arms (bishop’s mitre = “saint”?) but I’m not terribly confident on that. I have no explanation for the partridge.