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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
Incorporated into : 1975 Grampian Region
Quarterly: 1st, Argent, a lion passant guardant Gules, crowned with an antique crown Or; 2nd, Argent, two open crowns in fess Gules and a martlet in base Azure, on a chief of the Last, a mullet of the field; 3rd, paly of six Or and Sable, on a fess Argent two roses Gules, barbed of the Second and seeded of the First; 4th, Or, an open crown Gules, a chief chequy Argent and Azure; over all a pale engrailed, per pale Vert and Sable voided Argent, charged with two chevronels Gules between three boars' heads erased Azure, armed Or and langued Sable.
Below the Shield, which is ensigned of a coronet appropriate to a County Council, is placed in an Escrol this Motto "Spe et Spiritu".
The arms were granted on February 2, 1953, and the motto was added on August 6, 1971.
The arms are of a rather elaborate pattern which make references to the various districts of Banffshire and the historic families connected with it.
In the first quarter, the Ogilvy lion with its Grant antique crown recalls the Earldom of Seafield and Lower Banffshire. The second quarter shows the same features from the Kinloss Abbey seal as in the arms of the Burgh of Keith, thus referring to the Lordship of the Regality of Strathisla and that region of the County.
In the third quarter with its Atholl pallets and the red roses, reference is made to the Lordship of Balvenie which covered the whole County "from Boharm through Glenrinnes to Aberlour". The fourth quarter is for Stewart of Strathavon and thus for that district and for Glenlivet.
In the centre, the three boars' heads and the chevronels are for Abercromby and come from the arms of Sir George W. Abercromby, who was Lord Lieutenant and Convener of the County in 1952. This part of the arms is edged with a black engrailed line to recall Sinclair of Deskford, and with a green line, also engrailed for artistic reasons, to allude to Duff of Braco and to the green in the 2nd quarter of the arms of Ogilvy of Banff.
The Latin motto With Hope and Courage not only reflects the confidence the County feels in its future but also makes a punning reference to the river Spey and the whisky distilling industry. The Spey flows through part of the County and upon its waters most of Banffshire's extensive whisky industry depends.
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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink Urquhart, 1974