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Denbighshire was an administrative county until 1974, and re-established as a county council in 1996
The arms were granted in 1996.
The principal feature of Denbighshire's arms is a black lion. The shield is divided into a cross which was anciently associated with Prince Edwin of Tegeingl,an area which covered Rhuddlan, Coleshill and Prestatyn.
The dragons represent the red dragon of Wales with the keys held by the Crest's dragon representing the keys to the diocese of St Asaph. Each of the supporters is holding a castle which represents the line of castles running North to South in Denbighshire, starting at Rhuddlan, passing through Denhigh, Ruthin, and finally Liangollen. The motto, Unwn i Wneud Da - We Unite to do Good - continues the strength and unity reflected in the design of the arms.The old Denbigshire council used the arms below:
The previous arms were granted on March 12, 1962.
Arms: Argent a Lion rampant Sable a Chief barry wavy Or and Azure.
Crest: On a Wreath Argent Gules Or Purpure Argent and Azure a demi Lion Gules gorged with a Mural Crown Or supporting with the dexter fore claw an escutcheon quarterly Sable Argent Gules and Azure thereon a Ram's Head caboshed proper; Mantled Gules doubled Or.
Motto: 'DUW A DIGON' - With God, enough
The design of the old seal featured a lion rampant and this became the principal element in the shield as the traditional black lion of the dynasty of Powys, prominent in the arms of numerous holders of early lordships in Denbighshire. The gold and blue waves at the head of the shield represents the sands and sea of the Denbighshire coast.
The decorative mantling flowing from the helm is of red and gold, the colours of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, founder of the Powys dynasty and also those of Gwynedd. The colours of the crest wreath are those of the three holders of the principal ancient lordships: Gruffydd ap Madoc, Lord of Bromfield, Yale and Chirkland (white and red); de Lacy (gold and purple); and de Grey, Lord of Ruthin (white and blue).
The crest is the red dragon of Wales, differenced at the neck with a gold mural or walled crown for local government and the ancient castles, and holding a shield representing the principal industries. The four quarters refer to coal mining (black), limestone quarrying (white), pottery (red) and slate quarrying (blue), and the Welsh ram’s head is for the farming and woollen industries.
The motto “Duw a Digon” (With God, enough) was in previous use by the county council.
Before the 1962 grant the county may have used arms: Argent, a lion rampant vert, armed and langued gules. With the motto “Duw a Digon”. However, besides one reference (O'Regan, 1995), I have not seen any proof or use of these arms.
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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink
Index of the siteLiterature: Image and information provided by Laurence Jones. North Wales Weekly News, 28 February 1963, p.9; Mary O’Regan, ‘Heraldry of the Old Welsh Counties – Part 2’, Aspects of Heraldry, Vol. 9, (1995) pp. 28-29.