Forfar

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  • Overseas possessions
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FORFAR

Burgh

Incorporated into : 1975 Angus District Council (1996 Angus Area Council)

Arms (crest) of Forfar

Official blazon

Azure, a castle Argent, having two tiers of battle­ ments, triple-towered and with two flanking towers, masoned Sable, three windows and port Gules, the tower caps of the Last with balls Or, the central tower having a flag displayed Argent, charged with a lion passant Gules, imperially crowned Proper; on a chief wavy Or, a Scots fir eradicated Proper between a hull's head on the dexter and a stag's head on the sinister, both cabossed Sable, the former armed and the latter attired Gules.

Below the Shield which is ensigned with a Burghal coronet, is placed upon a Compartment suitable to a Burgh Royal this Motto "Ut quocunque paratus".

Origin/meaning

The arms were granted on May 31, 1948.

Forfar appears to have been a Royal Burgh by some time between 1153 and 1162 and thus probably so created by King Malcolm IV.

The arms are based on those traditionally used and their related seals. The blue and gold colours are those of Gilbert d'Umfraville who acquired the Earldom of Angus by marriage in the thirteenth century.
The castle is the old Castle of Forfar, shown triple-towered as on the seals used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (earlier seals had shown the castle in different forms) and from the central tower flies the banner of Gillibride, Earl of Angus about 1135.

In the chief, the fir tree recalls the great Forest of Platane which lay to the north of the town and the heads of the bull and the stag, the animals who inhabited it; these animals may also refer to the leather trade of Forfar and its famous sutors (shoemakers) and the hull's head may further allude to the close link between the town and the Earls of Airlie, whose arms have bulls as supporters.

The Latin motto "Ready for any event" is set on a Royal Burgh compartment; this was the first specific example of such a compartment since the one granted to Elgin in 1678.

seal of Forfar

Seal of the burgh as used in the 1890s
Arms (crest) of Forfar

The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1935

Community Council

Arms (crest) of Forfar

Official blazon

Azure, a castle Argent, having two tiers of battlements, triple-towered and with two flanking towers, masoned Sable, three windows and port Gules, the tower caps of the Last with balls Or, the central tower having a flag displayed Argent, charged with a lion passant Gules, imperially crowned Proper; on a chief wavy Or, a Scots fir eradicated Proper between a hull's head on the dexter and a stag's head on the sinister, both cabossed Sable. the former armed and the latter attired Gules.

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 "Ut Quocunque Paratus".

Origin/meaning

The arms were granted on August 14, 1989.

These are the Burgh arms with a crown of a community council and without the compartment.


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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink

Literature : Porteous, 1906; Urquhart, 1974, 2001