Arms of the French Republic

French Republic

In use since 1905; officially adopted 1953

Blazon: Azure a fasces between two branches of laurel and oak, all intertwined with a ribbon or bearing the motto “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” sable

Finally, the current symbol of the Third, Fourth, and Fifth French Republics. Technically, France didn’t officially have national arms after the end of the Second Empire in 1870. This design was formally adopted in 1953 as a response to a request from the United Nations, who wanted to display all the coats of arms of their member states. I’ve found different opinions as to whether or not this counts as a national coat of arms, but I figure if it’s good enough for the UN, it’s good enough for this blog. I’d also like to mention that the design itself dates back to at least 1905, and was intermittently used for formal state occasions, embassies, and consulates. My point here is that the use of the fasces as a national symbol happened well before Mussolini went and ruined it by making it a symbol of authoritarianism, repression, and violence.

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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.

Arms of the borough of Amber Valley

Amber Valley

Derbyshire, England

Granted 1989

Blazon: Vert a pale wavy or within a bordure argent charged with five horseshoes sable, on a chief of the second between two lozenges a cresset sable fired proper

Crest: On a wreath of the colors the battlements of a tower proper issuant therefrom between two croizers or an oak tree also proper fructed and ensigned by a crown of fleurs-de-lis of the first

Supporters: On the dexter a unicorn argent armed and crined or gorged with a collar pendant therefrom a cross flory gules; on the sinister a leopard proper gorged with a collar gules pendant therefrom a fleur-de-lis or

Mantling: Vert lined or

Motto: Per laborem progredimur (By hard work we progress)

The pale wavy evidently represents the river Amber, while the lozenges and cresset symbolize the coal and iron industries. The horseshoes on the bordure are taken from (one of the versions of) the arms of the Ferrers family.

Arms of Staffordshire County, England

Staffordshire

Granted 1931

Blazon: Or on a chevron gules a Stafford knot of the first, on a chief azure a lion passant guardant of the field

Crest: Issuant from a mural crown proper a Stafford knot or

Supporters: On the dexter a lion reguardant gules ducally crowned or and on the sinister a griffin reguardant of the second

Mantling: Gules lined or

Motto: The knot unites

While the knot is the most common symbol of the Stafford family (who bear or a chevron gules), the lion and griffin are also Stafford badges.

Arms of Derbyshire County, England

Derbyshire

Granted 1937

Blazon: Or a rose gules surmounted by another argent, both barbed and seeded proper, on a chief sable three stags’ heads caboshed of the third

Crest: Issuant from a mural crown or a dragon wings elevated and addorsed sable holding in the dexter claw a pick of the first and collared argent

Supporters: On the dexter a stag and on the sinister a ram, both proper and gorged with a chain or pendant therefrom a rose gules surmounted by another argent, barbed and seeded also proper

Mantling: Gules lined or

Motto: Bene consulendo (By good counsel)

The double rose is referred to as the Tudor rose; Henry VII adopted it as a badge to symbolize the union of the houses of Lancaster (whose symbol was a red rose) and York (the white rose). The county previously used the Tudor rose as an unofficial device. The stag refers to the first local fort built by Danish invaders, which was named Derby after the number of deer in the region, and eventually gave its name to the county.

Arms of the borough of Wandsworth

Wandsworth

London, England

Granted 1965

Blazon: Per pale indented argent and azure a fess chequy of the second and or, each of the last charged with a goutte of the second

Crest: On a wreath of the colors an ancient ship with a dragon’s head at the prow sable four oars in action and as many shields or on the bulwarks, flying a pennon gules and a sail of the arms

Supporters: On the dexter a dove wings elevated and addorsed azure and charged with four molets of five points or, in the beak a sprig of lavender proper; on the sinister a dragon sable wings elevated and addorsed argent and charged with four crosses couped gules

Mantling: Azure lined argent

Motto: We Serve

The field of the arms is derived from the London borough of Battersea. The fess chequy is from the arms of William de Warren, first Earl of Surrey, and the gouttes represent the tears shed by the prosecuted French Huguenots, as many of them settled in Wandsworth when fleeing persecution in the seventeenth century.

Arms of the borough of Tower Hamlets, London, England

Tower Hamlets

Granted 1965

Blazon: Argent on a base wavy azure charged with two bars wavy of the field a lymphad sail furled sable pennon and flags flying gules, on a chief of the second between a pair of fire tongs and a weaver’s shuttle a pale of the first charged with a sprig of mulberry fructed proper

Crest: On a wreath of the colors in front of a representation of the White Tower of the Tower of London proper two anchors in saltire or

Supporters: On the dexter side a sea-horse, on the sinister side a talbot, all proper

Mantling: Azure lined argent

Motto: From great things to greater

Most of the elements in this achievement are drawn from the arms of the borough of Stepney, which was incorporated into Tower Hamlets in 1965. The fire tongs are the symbol of St. Dunstan, who held the Manor of Stepney when he was Bishop of London.