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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
Incorporated into : 1975 Falkirk District Council (1996 Falkirk Area Council)
Per pale Gules and Sable: in a sea in base undy Azure and Argent, a three-roasted ship of the seventeenth century Or, in full sail Proper, flagged Gold, at the stern a banner of Scotland of the First, cantoned of the Third, charged with a saltire of the Fourth; in chief a lion passant also Gold, armed and langued of the Third.
Above the Shield is placed a Burghal Crown and in an Escrol under the Shield this Motto "Sine Metu".
The arms were granted on January 10, 1930.
Bo'ness was erected into a Burgh of Regality in 1668 in favour of Anne, Duchess of Hamilton.
The arms are based on the device on an old Town Crier's Bell dated 1647, which is reputed to have belonged to the United General Sea Box Society of Borrowstounness.
The red and black colours of the field are respectively for Hamilton and the coal mining industry associated with the town. The ship, in full sail to denote prosperity, refers to its shipping interests and recalls that in the eighteenth century Bo'ness was the third seaport in Scotland.
The meaning of the lion is not clear; it could be the Scottish lion, as the lion on the seal of the Sea Box Society was shown as rampant and not passant. But it seems just possible that it has a connection with the former Castle Lyon which stood near the sea and was probably the jointure house of Lady Margaret Lyon, daughter of the 7th Lord Glamis, and widow of John, 1st Marquess of Hamilton, whom she had married about 1577.
The Latin motto "Without Fear" comes, as does the ship, from the seal.
Seal of the burgh as used in the 1890s
Per pale Gules and Sable, in a sea in base undy Azure and Argent a three-masted ship of the seventeenth century Or, in full sail Proper, flagged Gold, at the stern a banner of Scotland of the First cantoned of the Third charged with a saltire of the Fourth, in chief a lion passant also Gold, armed and langued of the Third.
Above the Shield is placed a Coronet appropriate to a statutory Community Council, videlicet:- a circlet richly chased from which are issuant four thistle leaves (one and two halves visible) and four pine cones (two visible) Or, and in an Escrol below the same this Motto "Sine Metu".
The arms were granted on January 19, 1983.
These are the Burgh arms with a crown of a community council.
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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink
Literature: Porteous, 1906; Urquhart, 1974, 1979, 2001