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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
Additions : 1974 Axminster RDC (1966 Axminster), Budleigh Salterton UDC, Exmouth UDC, Honiton (borough), Honiton RDC, Ottery St. Mary UDC, Seaton UDC, Sidmouth UDC, St. Thomas RDC (partly)
Parish councils : Colyton
Arms : Barry of six Argent and Azure an ancient Ship of two masts each having two sails set all proper flying at each masthead a Pennon of St. George and at the bow and stern a forked Pennon also of St. George on a chief Azure a rising Sun of nine rays issuant also Or.
Crest : On a Wreath Or and Gules in front of a demi Otter erect holding in the mouth a Honeysuckle Flower slipped and leaved proper three Ears of Wheat leaved Or.
The arms were officially granted on May 25, 1976.
The shield follows the pattern of the four armigerous coastal authorities' arms, viz: ancient ships and a chief. Against a background of six white and blue waves is an ancient ship combining the conventional single-masted and single-sailed galley of Seaton, Sidmouth and Exmouth with the distinctive ship with two sails on one mast seen in the Budleigh Salterton arms. This new ship has two masts and four sails, all set to suggest these four areas of the coast. The ship is in natural colours, with plain pennons at the mastheads and forked pennons at bow and stern, all bearing the traditional device of England, the red Cross of St. George on white.
On the chief, on a blue background, is a golden rising sun, suggesting the East, having nine rays indicating the combination of nine authorities in East Devon.The crest complements the coastal symbolism of the shield by indicating the hinterland areas. Three golden ears of wheat suggest the three rural districts of Honiton, Axminster and St. Thomas. Behind them rises an otter, for the River Otter and Ottery St. Mary, in reference to which the animal features in the Coleridge arms. In its mouth the otter holds a honeysuckle flower from the ancient seal of the Borough of Honiton.
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