Arms of Dunkelsteinerwald, Austria

Austria

Granted 1982

Blazon: Per pale gules a cross paté argent and of the second, overall a triple mount in base, issuant from the sinister mount a pine tree vert

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that forestry has long been a foundational industry of the town… but I have no evidence that that has anything to do with the arms. It is a shame that they went with the fairly common charges of mountains, trees, and crosses when there is apparently a local family, the Maissau, who bear or a unicorn rampant sable. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that dark, mysterious woods give rise to local legends of mythical beasts wandering around in them.

Arms of Calabria, Italy

Calabria

Granted 1992

Blazon: Per saltire or and argent; in chief a larch pine eradicated vert, in dexter a cross paté pommettée of eight, in sinister a cross potent sable, in base a Doric capital azure

I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear that every one of these charges has a specific symbolic and/or historical meaning. The pine tree is both a common species in the region (Pinus nigra laricio, if you’re curious) and a symbol of the region’s natural beauty. The capital is, unsurprisingly, a reference to the area’s legacy as part of Magna Graecia. The dexter cross is representative of the time the region spent as part of the Byzantine Empire, and the sinister cross represents Bohemond I of Antioch and those who accompanied him on the First Crusade. (Bohemond was the son of the count of Apulia and Calabria before he headed off to the Holy Land and founded his own principality.)

The dexter cross seems to be described variously as a Greek cross (no), pommé (sort of?), and a Byzantine cross (maybe, if there was any kind of consensus as to what that means). I don’t think any of those accurately describe what’s depicted here, so I did my best to describe it with the terms I’m familiar with. (In case you can’t tell, I borrowed some of the language from the traditional description of a cross of Toulouse.) The sinister cross is almost definitely supposed to be a cross potent, due to the reference to Jerusalem, but it seems to be drawn more like a very weird cross crosslet.

Arms of Puglia, Italy

Puglia

Granted 1988?

Blazon: Azure on an octagon argent within a bordure gules an olive tree eradicated proper, on a chief or six pommes

:deep breath: Okay, here we go: the blue represents the sea, the octagon is the eight-sided medieval Castel del Monte, the olive tree actually does symbolize “peace and brotherhood” in this context, at least according to the municipal website, and the six pommes stand for the six provinces of the region :exhales: I think I covered everything! My God, Italians really are this extra, at least when it comes to their heraldic symbolism. This is both delightful and moderately exhausting; not everything has to have a larger meaning, y’all! Sometimes things can just look good!

Arms of Dornbirn, Austria

Dornbirn

Initially granted 1655; regranted 1902 and 1929

Blazon: Gules a fess argent, overall a pear tree issuant from a mount in base vert fructed or

Although the name “Dornbirn” doesn’t actually have anything to do with pears (Birnen), the arms are, nonetheless, canting. The municipality became part of the Habsburg possessions in 1380, which they apparently loved so much that when Archduke Ferdinand Charles sold the town to the lords of Ems in 1654, the inhabitants were furious. They refused to acknowledge the Ems as their sovereigns, and promptly raised 4000 guilders (around €47,000 or $52,000 USD) to buy themselves back. Impressed by their loyalty, the Archduke granted the arms above.

However, it might not have been loyalty so much as a deep enmity for Ems; apparently, the lords of that family were really into witch hunts and illegally confiscating property, even more so than most seventeenth-century nobility. After their debt overtook them in the mid-eighteenth century, the inhabitants of Dornbirn proceeded to buy up all of the Ems’ former holdings in the area.

Arms of Dorfstetten, Austria

Dorfstetten

Granted 1981?

Blazon: Paly of four azure, or, argent, and gules, a pine tree proper

There is really not a lot of information about this municipality online. The only reason I can guess at the date of the arms granting is due to someone’s photo of the ceremony. Unfortunately, I cannot make out the text on the grant; while official grants don’t usually have any kind of explanation for the arms, sometimes they do. Given that 80% of the area is wooded, that seems a likely source for the pine tree charge. I really don’t know about the paly of four, which is much more unusual. If I absolutely had to guess, it might have something to do with the fact that the municipal area includes four villages, but I have absolutely nothing to back that up. (And heck, maybe they just liked it.)

Arms of Ammerbuch, Germany

Ammerbuch

Granted 1971

Blazon: Or a beech tree eradicated vert, overall a fess wavy in base azure

This is fairly typical imagery for municipal arms – local features with a touch of canting. The beech tree (buche) stands for the Schönbuch, a forest and nature park in the area, while the fess represents the Ammer river. While this particular municipality doesn’t use any symbols from the previous villages that were incorporated into its present form (which is common for modern German municipal arms), there’s still a nod to its origins; the beech tree is drawn with six roots and branches, each of which symbolizes a former town.