Arms of Wolfenhausen, Germany

Wolfenhausen

In use ? – 1971

Blazon: Argent a wolf passant sable, armed and langued gules, on a chief of the second an oath staff fesswise of the field

The village of Wolfhausen changed hands several times in the early days of its existence in the twelfth century. It started out as a possession of Hohenberg, then went over to Tübingen and later Württemberg, but it doesn’t seem that any of their arms influenced these. Instead, this is a fairly straightforward case of canting arms. (Yes, that is a wolf. Yes, that is an incredibly ugly wolf, but I am trying to be polite about it.) It seems likely that the oath staff in the chief is another quasi-canting reference to the former name of the region (Stäble).

Arms of Remmingsheim, Germany

Remmingsheim

Granted 1954 – 1971

Blazon: Or an oath staff palewise between four molets of six points 2 and 2 in pale sable

The four stars in the arms represent the former four communities of the Stäble, or the region around present-day Neustetten. These could also be considered partly canting arms – or maybe it’s the reverse? Evidently the oath staff of Remmingsheim’s court (“staff” being Stab in German) gave the region its name, and then later appeared in the arms.

Arms of Neustetten, Germany

Neustetten

Arms of Neustetten, Germany

In use since 1971

Blazon: Gules a chevron argent between three molets of six points, on a chief or an oath staff (Schwurstab) fesswise sable  

Okay, I really like these arms, and not just because they feature a charge I’ve never seen before. The three townships of Nellingsheim, Remmingsheim, and Wolfenhausen were consolidated into the municipality of Neustetten in 1971, and it’s clear that whoever designed the new town’s arms took care to pay homage to its component parts, and also create something visually appealing. I appreciate that kind of thoughtfulness in heraldic design. The Neustetten website also has a nice section on each former township and its arms, so although I don’t usually feature former municipalities, I’m going to make an exception over the next few weeks. Long story short – the chevron comes from Nellingsheim, the chief from Wolfenhausen, and the molets from Remmingsheim (although the number reflects the three former townships). Both the latter towns’ arms featured the Schwurstab, and the tinctures are also relatively consistent.

So… what the hell is a Schwurstab? The literal translation, which I’ve used in the blazon, is “oath staff.” From what I can find, it’s a pretty descriptive name – they seem to have been specially carved staves used in legal proceedings for witnesses to swear on. It seems like they served the same function as a Bible or other sacred text, only more secular.

Arms of Jettenburg, Germany

Jettenburg

Probably in use since 1987

Blazon: Azure two staves topped with bunches of oak leaves palewise in fess argent

I wish I could have found something about these arms, because the charges are fascinating. I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like them before. There is apparently a very impressive oak forest in the region, but I can’t tell whether that has anything to do with these unique charges, since they are specifically not trees. It apparently shared the name “Jettenburg” with a nearby bridge and/or corduroy road until 1558.

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 Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, England

Southend on Sea

Granted 1915

Blazon: Azure on a pile argent between on the dexter an anchor on the sinister a grill and in base a trefoil slipped or a vase gules issuant therefrom a spray of lilies proper

Crest: Issuant from a mural crown gules the mast of a ship proper flying a flag argent a cross gules

Supporters: On the dexter a medieval fisherman holding in the exterior hand a net and on the sinister holding a book and a staff, all proper

Mantling: Azure lined argent

Motto: Per mare per ecclesiam (Through the sea, through the Church)