Arms of Birmingham, England

Birmingham

Granted 1977

Blazon: Per quarterly I and IV azure a bend of five lozenges conjoined or, II and III per pale indented or and gules, overall on a cross ermine a mitre proper

Crest: On a wreath or and azure issuant from a mural crown or charged with a Tudor rose a dexter arm embowed holding a hammer all proper

Supporters: On the dexter a figure representing Art proper vested argent wreathed with laurel vert tied by a riband gules, holding in the sinister hand resting on the shield a book bound of the last and in the dexter a palette with two brushes proper; on the sinister a figure representing Industry habited as a smith, holding in the dexter hand resting on the shield a cupel and in the sinister a hammer resting on an anvil all proper

Mantling: Azure lined or

Motto: Forward

Both coats quartered here were used by the de Bermingham family at various points in time. The family also quartered the coats, but in opposite quarters; the city changed the order for difference. The city was previously granted arms in 1889, which used a fess ermine instead of a cross, and a mural crown instead of a mitre. The supporters in the previous arms were also reversed, with Industry on the dexter and Art on the sinister.

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Arms of the borough of Camden

Camden

London, England

Granted 1965

Blazon: Argent on a cross gules a mitre or; on a chief sable three escallops of the field

Crest: On a wreath of the colors issuant from a mural crown argent a demi-elephant sable armed or and gorged with a wreath of holly fructed proper

Supporters: On the dexter a lion and on the sinister a griffin or, each gorged with a collar, the dexter argent charged with three molets of five points sable, the sinister of the last charged with as many molets of as many points of the second, pendant from each a fountain

Mantling: Gules lined argent

Motto: Non sibi sed toti (Not for self but for all)

The cross, mural crown, and supporters are derived from the arms of the former borough of Holborn, while those of Hampstead yielded the mitre and the holly wreath, and the escallops and elephant are from St. Pancras. The supporters each correspond to one of the Inns of Court in the borough; the lion is for Lincoln’s Inn, and the griffin for Gray’s.

You know what, it could be worse. At least some of the way-too-many charges are interesting – you don’t see a lot of elephants, and I obviously have a soft spot for griffins. Yes, the level of detail on the collars is incredibly nitpicky, and the colors in this depiction don’t entirely match the blazon, but the actual arms themselves aren’t terrible. The argent-cross-gules is a reference to the city arms, and it obeys the laws of tincture, and honestly, the arms of the London boroughs are so weird and visually messy that I’ll just take what I can get.