Arms of Boniches, Spain


Granted 2004

Blazon: Gules between two stone pines eradicated proper a ruined tower or on a mount argent issuant from water in base barry of the last and azure

I have to say something about this artist’s decision to put white borders around the trees. This is a terrible and needlessly complex way to circumvent the law of tincture (which is much less important in a digital format; there are other ways to create contrast!), and it’s not in the original blazon at all.

Arms of Atalaya del Cañavate, Spain

Atalaya del Canavate

Granted 1997

Blazon: Argent on a mount in base vert a tower azure between two cauldrons gules seven lozenges conjoined in fess or, counterchanged per fess, each containing six serpents facing the exterior of the second

A lovely set of canting arms (“atalaya” meaning “watchtower” in Spanish) featuring the infamous (to me) snake cauldrons of the Guzmans! Yes, that is an absurdly long way to describe the cauldrons’ patterns, but Spanish blazon has the much more convenient term “triangulares”, and English blazon does not. I could not figure out a way to translate it that sounded good to my ears, so I went with what I knew.

Arms of Eberstein, Austria


Granted 1968

Blazon: Per quarterly gules and argent, an escutcheon or a boar statant on a mount in base sable, armed of the second, langued of the first

These arms are something of a remix of those of the Counts of Eberstein. (argent a cinquefoil gules seeded azure). The larger shield uses the main tinctures of the family’s arms, and the boar (Eber) does double duty: it is both a canting element and an adaptation of a crest the Ebersteins started using in the early sixteenth century, probably in reference to their name. The mount is intended to be another canting element – a rock, or Stein.

Arms of Arcos de la Sierra, Spain

Arcos de la Sierra

Granted 2005

Blazon: Or on a mount in base vert a two-tiered tower gules

This one is kind of frustrating, because it looks like the town has a fairly robust historical archive, and there are some fairly good photos of the town and its architecture, and this is exactly the kind of weirdly specific architectural charge that I would expect to be patterned after a real-life structure, and… I can’t find anything that would credibly give rise to a charge like what we see in the arms. It could be an attempt to create a canting charge out of arches or “arcos”? “Sierra” is Spanish for “mountain range,” so it’s possible the mount is also canting, but that’s about all I’ve got.

Arms of Eberschwang, Austria


Granted 1979

Blazon: Or on a triple mount in base vert a boar passant sable langued gules

The mount is a reference to the Hausruck mountain range (really more of a hill range; they’re not very high) to the east of the town, and the boar (Eber) was apparently intended to be a canting element. However, this might be a folk etymology; the first recorded occurrence of the town name was “Heurtteswanc.” I’m not sure how “Heurttes” turns into “Eber,” but after 1100 years, anything is possible.

Arms of Eberndorf, Austria


Granted 1960

Blazon: Azure a unicorn rampant argent on a mount in base or

The unicorn evidently originated with the local Eberndorf Abbey. The Jesuits selected it for its association with the Virgin Mary. The image of Mary as an “enclosed garden” was fairly common in medieval art, theology, and culture, and the motif of a unicorn in an enclosed garden was equally common – think of the Unicorn Tapestries. The unicorn as an emblem for the town was in use before 1960, apparently on the town seal, though I don’t have a date for that.

Arms of L’Aquila, Italy


Granted 1927

Blazon: Azure an eagle displayed wings inverted argent, armed, crowned, and perching on three mounts in base or, langued gules

These are extremely obvious canting arms – aquila is “eagle” in both Italian and Latin. Interestingly, though, the name did not start out as an homage to the iconic imperial eagle (though it certainly ended up there). The province is named after its capital city, but the city started out as a settlement named Acquilis or Acculi (no idea what those mean). It wasn’t a big jump, linguistically, to rename the whole thing to Aquila, and later L’Aquila.

Arms of Alcohujate, Spain


Granted 2008

Blazon: Vert a tower or on a mount argent, in base three bars wavy azure

While I don’t know for sure (the official blazon didn’t bother to detail why the charges were selected), it seems like the mount is intended to be a canting element, standing for a hill, or alcor in Spanish. There is a fairly prominent hill in the town, which could well be the source of its name.

Arms of Ebenthal, Austria


Granted 1961

Blazon: Azure a lion rampant voided double-queued, crowned and bearing a sword or on three mounts in base vert

The arms are a slightly modified (and significantly logo-ized, in this representation) version of the arms of the Koháry house, which bore azure a lion rampant double-queued crowned or bearing in the dexter forepaw a saber proper on a mount in base argent. They did rule over the area in approximately 1723, along with a few other towns in present-day Germany and Slovakia. The last male Koháry died in Ebenthal in 1822.

Arms of Ebensee, Austria


Arms of Ebensee, Austria

Granted 1929; in use since 1919

Blazon: Or chapé azure, water in base of the second and argent, issuant therefrom a mount, surmounted by a pine tree proper issuant from a base vert; in dexter chief, three baskets in pile reversed of the third, in sinister chief a pickaxe of the field; overall on a fess gules two dexter arms clasping hands in fess proper, vested of the field and sable

Oh. Oh no. This is definitely twentieth-century; you can tell from the multiplicity of complex charges that are specifically concerned with industry, as well as the fairly literal symbolism. This is kind of the heraldic definition of Doing Too Much. I know it’s been in use for over a hundred years, but this is just … not visually appealing at all. I’m sort of reluctant to explain all of the symbols, just because they’re so obvious, but I might as well. The pine tree stands for the local forests, the mount and the water stand for a nearby lake and mountain, the baskets and hammer refer to the salt mining industry, and the clasped hands represent the solidarity of the local workers, who absolutely deserve to be represented by something a little nicer than this.