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 Warwickshire County, England

Warwickshire

Granted 1931

Blazon: Gules a bear erect argent muzzled of the field collared and chained or supporting a staff raguly of the second, the chain reflexed over the back and encircling the staff; on a chief of the third three cross crosslets of the first; the shield ensigned with a mural crown or

Motto: Non sanz droict (Not without right)

The bear and staff have been used as symbols of the Earls of Warwick since at least 1268. One source gives their origin in medieval legend; the name of one Earl of Warwick, Arthgallus, was supposedly derived from “arthos,” or “bear”, and another was said to have used a broken tree branch to kill a giant. (There is no solid proof for either of these assertions.)

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 Harrow

Harrow

London, England

Arms and crest granted 1938, supporters granted 1954

Blazon: Or a fess arched vert, in chief on a pile gules between a torch sable enflamed proper and a quill pen of the fourth a clarion of the field, in base issuant from a mount a wood of trees of the second

Crest: Issuant from a mural crown proper a demi-lion rampant holding between the paws an arrow fesswise argent enfiled with a wreath of oak also proper

Supporters: On the dexter a representation of Hygeia supporting with her exterior hand a staff entwined with a snake, on the sinister a Benedictine monk supporting with the exterior hand a staff, all proper

Mantling: Vert lined or

Motto: Salus populi suprema lex (The well-being of the people is the highest law)

The fess vert represents the green spaces in the borough. The torch and quill pen refer to knowledge and the famous writers of the borough (such as Lord Byron, educated at the Harrow School). The pile is drawn from the Chandos arms. The clarion supposedly refers to the borough’s connection with Handel, although he lived in Mayfair.

Arms of the borough of Croyden

Croyden

London, England

Granted 1965

Blazon: Argent on a cross flory sable between in chief dexter two swords in saltire and sinister two keys in saltire, both azure and gules, five bezants

Crest: On a mural crown or a fountain between a branch of oak leaved and fructed and a branch of beech slipped proper

Supporters: On the dexter a lion sable and on the sinister a horse argent each with a cross formy fitchy pendant from a collar counterchanged

Mantling: Sable lined argent

Motto: Ad summa nitamur (Let us strive for perfection)

The cross flory comes from the arms of John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, by way of the County Borough of Croyden. The keys and swords refer to the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul. The fountain symbolizes the source of the River Wandle, and the white horse is from the arms of the Earls of Surrey.

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.