Blazon: Argent four barrulets wavy azure
The barrulets are specifically intended to represent the four major rivers of the region – the Bradano, Basento, Agri, and Sinni. This was apparently one of three proposed coats of arms in the region. I can’t find any previous arms for the region; it looks like it took on the arms of whatever individual or organization was ruling the region at the time.
Blazon: Azure on an octagon argent within a bordure gules an olive tree eradicated proper, on a chief or six pommes
:deep breath: Okay, here we go: the blue represents the sea, the octagon is the eight-sided medieval Castel del Monte, the olive tree actually does symbolize “peace and brotherhood” in this context, at least according to the municipal website, and the six pommes stand for the six provinces of the region :exhales: I think I covered everything! My God, Italians really are this extra, at least when it comes to their heraldic symbolism. This is both delightful and moderately exhausting; not everything has to have a larger meaning, y’all! Sometimes things can just look good!
Granted 1987; possibly in use since 1720
Blazon: Sable a lion rampant argent armed and langued gules
The association of the lion with the region of Aosta (whether as a county, duchy, autonomous region, or city) appears to be both obscure and extremely ancient. It was apparently already in widespread use by noble families of the area, as well as some ecclesiastics, in the twelfth century. The regional government admits they’re not sure of its exact origins, so I’m not sure I’m going to be able to dig anything else up. By the early 1700s, though, the current blazon was firmly associated with the duchy, and it appears on both state seals and as a quarter in other, more complex coats of arms. The ducal line of Savoy-Aosta preferred gules a cross argent within a bordure compony or and azure, but it seems like the lion remained in use for municipal purposes.
Blazon: Tierced per bend sinister argent, vert, and azure
Okay, I was toying with the idea of going into the historic arms of the various kingdoms, principalities, and dukedoms that eventually became the Republic of Italy, but (a) if I’m going to do something that wickedly complicated, I’m going to need a LOT more planning and (b) just look at these arms! They’re sharp af, and I couldn’t resist. Who needs a charge when you have a good, clean, visually pleasing division of the field? I’m sure some of the historical stuff will come up as I work my way through the boot; if it doesn’t, that’ll be a good future project. As for these arms specifically, the tinctures are evidently a highly abstracted representation of the landscape – white for snowy mountains, which gives way to green for wooded hills, and finally going down to blue for the sea. It’s an elegant explanation for some very elegant arms.
In use 1861 – 1946
Blazon: Gules a cross argent (Savoy)
Supporters: Two lions rampant or
Unfortunately, the site I had been using for the Italian family coats of arms appears to have been taken down, so I figured I might as well start in on the national and geographic arms of Italy. First up – the arms of the Kingdom of Italy, established 1861. (I know there were still reunification efforts going on after this, but that’s most of the peninsula under one ruler.) The arms are just those of the first king, Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy, though the supporters are unique to the kingdom. Over the 85 years of the kingdom’s existence, it passed father-to-son for four generations, so there was never any cause to change the arms.
Blazon: Per pale azure six molets of as many points in pile argent within a bordure indented throughout of the first and the second and per quarterly or and azure, four lozenges counterchanged
The arms on the dexter half of the shield are those of the Altieri family. This may be due to the fact that Felice Rospigliosi, the brother of Pope Clement IX, was elevated to cardinal by Pope Clement X (born Emilio Altieri) in 1673.
In use since 1200s?
Blazon: Per quarterly or and azure, four lozenges counterchanged
The Rospigliosi family originated from Milan, but moved to Pistoia in the late 12th century. In the later 1300s, the Rospigliosis became known for their involvement in the wool and cloth trades, as well as tax collection and spices. Their prestige only increased after Giulio Rospigliosi became Pope Clement IX in 1667.