Exeter

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EXETER

Arms (crest) of Exeter

Official blazon

Arms : Per pale Gules and Sable a Castle triangular and triple-towered Or.
Crest : On a Wreath Or and Sable a demi Lion Gules ducally crowned and holding between the paws a Bale [Or banded Azure] surmounted of a Cross botonnée Gold.
Supporters : On either side a Pegasus Argent crined and unguled Or the wings [elevated] barry wavy of six of the first and Azure.
Motto: 'SEMPER FIDELIS' - Ever faithful

Origin/meaning

The arms were confirmed and the crest and supporters granted on August 6, 1564.

Exeter's arms are very ancient, and simply depict the long vanished Rougemont Castle. The distinctive form of the castle is described in the blazon as "triangular and triple towered". The red and black colouring of the field seems to have no significance. The shield was confirmed in 1564, and the crest and supporters were granted. The crest wreath is black and gold - the colours of the Duchy of Cornwall. The crest itself is a red crowned lion holding a golden orb. This is for Richard Earl of Cornwall, Holy roman Emporer. The same lion appears in the arms of Devon County Council and some of the towns and districts of Devon.

The supporters are winged horses or pegases. The wings are charged with blue waves and thus is represented the river Exe which once made the city a major port.

The motto is Semper Fidelis - the same as Queen Elizabeth I. It is said that the queen granted the motto to the city in 1588, as thanks for giving money to help build the fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada.

The arms on collector's items:

Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms in 1587
(Braun and Hogenberg’s atlas)
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms in 1681
(Izacke, R. : Remarkable antiquities of the city of Exeter, 1681)
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms on a 1792 coin (source)
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms on a 1887 medal (source)
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms on crested China +/- 1910
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms on a Wills's cigarette card, 1906
Exeter.fau.jpg

The arms as used on a Faulkner postcard +/- 1905
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1925
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms on a Reddings tea card

The arms in/by the city:

Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms in the city (source)
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms in the city (source)
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms in the city (source)
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms in the guild hall (source)
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The city logo from 2018 based on the arms (image from Exeter council)
Arms (crest) of Exeter

The arms on the mayoral chain (source)


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Literature : Image and information provided by Laurence Jones.