British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association
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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
BRITISH OLYMPIC ASSOCIATION AND THE BRITISH PARALYMPIC ASSOCIATION
The English version
The Scottish version
Arms: Quarterly Gules and Azure two Leeks in pale that in base reversed and conjoined at the fess point to two Thistles in fess two Roses in bend and two Flax Flowers in bend sinister all with heads outwards and slipped and leaved Or the whole enfiling four Links of Chain interlaced in a square Argent.
Crest: on a Helm with a Wreath Argent, Gules and Azure: Within a Coronet comprising a Rim set with six Batons erect Or between Roundels alternately of Silver Gold and Bronze proper a Lion statant guardant Gules crowned with a Laurel Wreath the dexter forepaw raised and holding a Torch enflamed Or.
Supporters: On either side a Lion guardant that on the dexter Azure that on the sinister Gules each crowned with a Laurel Wreath and holding in the exterior forepaw a Torch enflamed Or both upon a Compartment comprising a Grassy Mount Vert.
The arms were officially granted on April 27, 2016 in England and in 2017 in Scotland.
The principal element on the shield is a unified group of the floral emblems of the four Home Nations. Two of each are shown and arranged so as to avoid ascribing primacy to any individual emblem. Four chain links hold them together at the centre; these links stand for the four years of the Olympic/Paralympic cycle, but their shape is also intended to recall that of an athletics track. This is the only reference in the design to a specific event or group of events, and is sanctioned by the central role of the main stadium in all Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The supporters are lions holding Olympic torches and crowned with laurel wreaths. Lions have anciently represented at least three of the Home Nations, and have stood for the UK as a whole for many years - thus the combined British Isles rugby team has long been known as the British and Irish Lions. The laurel wreaths are of course an allusion to the ancient Olympic Games. A third lion in the crest emerges from a crown composed of discs (representing gold, silver and bronze medals) between relay batons; the latter are less a reference to the specific track team event than to the ethos of continuity, teamwork and shared responsibility.
The motto IUNCTI IN UNO ('Conjoined in One') makes reference to the union of the Home Nations within the UK, thereby picking up on the central idea of the shield. But it also alludes to the unity of the representatives of separate sports and, more significantly, of the Olympic and Paralympic teams within Team GB.
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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink
Literature: image from Lyon Court Twitter; http://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/news-grants/news/item/127-the-team-gb-coat-of-arms