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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
FIFESHIRE (County Council)
Incorporated into : 1975 Fife Regional Council (1996 Fife Area Council)
Argent, a knight armed at all points on a horse at full speed, in his dexter hand a sword erect all Proper, his surcoat Argent, on his sinister arm a shield Or, charged with a lion rampant Gules, the visor of his helmet shut, over which on a wreath of his liveries with a Mantling of the Fourth doubled of the Third, is set a lion rampant, issuing out of the wreath, of the Fourth, the caparisons of the horse of the Last, fimbriated of the Third, and thereon six shields of the Last, each charged with a lion rampant of the Fourth.
And in an Escrol below the Shield this Motto "Virtute Et Opera".
The arms were granted on May 31, 1927.
The arms are virtually the same as the device on the seal adopted by the Council in 1890. They are based on a seal of Duncan, Earl of Fife, of which a 1360 impression is on record and described as "an armed knight on horseback at full speed, a sword in his right hand, and on his left arm a shield charged with a lion rampant which is repeated on the caparisons of the horse".
This representation of "The Thane of Fife" has long been recognised as the County emblem.
The Latin motto "By virtue and energy" was that of Duff of Braco and is now used by the Dukes of Fife.
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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink
Literature : Urquhart, 1974