Arms of the borough of Barnet, London, England


Granted 1965

Blazon: Azure on a mount in base a Paschal lamb proper; on a chief per pale argent and gules a Saxon crown or between two roses counterchanged barbed and seeded proper

Crest: On a wreath of the colors a two-bladed airscrew in pale winged or surmounted by two swords in saltire points upwards proper

Supporters: On the dexter a lion and on the sinister a stag argent charged on the shoulder with a cross potent quadrate gules

Mantling: Azure lined argent

Motto: Unitas efficit ministerium (Unity accomplishes service)

The borough was formed from a combination of other boroughs, most of which are represented in the achievement. The Paschal lamb and the airscrew are from Hendon; the supporters are from Finchley; the crosses potent quadrate are from Friern Barnet. The red and white roses featured in the arms of both Barnet and East Barnet as a reference to the Battle of Barnet from the Wars of the Roses.

There is so much going on here, and I’m not sure any of it is good. Setting aside the fact that it’s basically impossible to make these arms work within the law of tinctures and the completely unnecessary compartment, my biggest complaint has to be the crest. First, that does NOT look like a propeller. I only figured out it’s supposed to be a two-bladed propeller seen from the front from the blazon. That’s not good. Secondly, it’s a fucking propeller. It’s already an allusion to aviation. You don’t need to put fucking wings on it. Third, I’m going to borrow Fox-Davies’ complaint about more modern crests: they were originally intended to be worn on top of a helmet. How the fuck are you supposed to balance that thing on your head? Would it even be identifiable from a distance? This is such a trainwreck, even the counterchanged reference to the Wars of the Roses isn’t enough to save it.


Arms of London, England


Granted 1957; in use since before 1483

Blazon: Argent a cross gules in the first quarter a sword in pale point in chief of the last

Crest: On a wreath of the colors a dragon’s sinister wing argent charged with a cross gules

Supporters: Two dragons argent charged on the wings with a cross gules

Mantling: Gules lined argent

Motto: Domine dirige nous (God direct us)

Most of the imagery in the arms of London is connected to the patron saint of England, Saint George, and his legendary slaying of the dragon. The saint’s symbol is argent, a cross gules, which recurs throughout the arms, as does the dragon. The sword is a symbol of St. Paul, to whom the first cathedral in London was dedicated.

I couldn’t not do London. I mean, they’re famous (as famous as arms get, anyways) with a shitton of religious iconography, so I couldn’t ignore them. What I did not expect to find, though, was that the arms were not confirmed until 195freaking7. That’s over five centuries of continuous use, predating the English College of Arms itself, and no one thought to give the capital city of freaking England a grant until after the toaster oven was invented? Nintendo had been around for sixty-eight years at that point! What the actual fuck.

Arms of Ilshofen, Germany


In use since 1594; granted 1954

Blazon: Argent on a base vert a representation of Justice blindfolded of the field, clad azure, robed gules, crined, shod, and bearing in the dexter hand a sword point in base and in the sinister hand a balance or

The first mention of the town dates to 1288. Around fifty years later, in 1330, it became a city with the right to build walls and establish a weekly market.

Oh man. This shit. Look, I understand wanting the personification of a particular virtue, or a saint or something, on your arms. But they take forEVer to blazon, since the clothes and the hair and the accessories all have to be specified, and how they’re holding the sword (there’s pretty much always a sword), and if they’re standing on something and and and. It’s perfectly acceptable armory; it just takes ages to describe properly.

Arms of Viveros, Spain


Granted 1962

Blazon: Per fess or seven trees eradicated palewise in fess vert, the alternate three shorter and gules a sword fesswise point to the dexter argent hilted and pommeled or within an orle of chain of the second

These are most likely canting arms, as “vivero” is Spanish for “garden center” or “nursery”; hence the seven trees.

Arms of Villavaliente, Spain


In use since at least 2009

Blazon: Per fess I per pale vert a tower or windowed azure and or an eagle displayed sable, II argent three rows of houses gules surmounted by a sword palewise or

Villavaliente was a part of the municipality of Jorquera until 1927. The chief part of the arms are those of Jorquera. The houses in the base are likely a reference to the former name of the town – Casas de Valiente.

But in later times, the ensigns and marks of Knighthood, by the sword, are observed, to be a girdle and sword gilded, and girded to his side: as also, a pair of spurs gilt, to signify… the reward of his horsemanship and that he is a Chevalier.

– From The Blazon of Gentrie by Sir John Ferne (1586), p109