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Heraldry of the World
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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

  • Overseas possessions
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Incorporated into : 1976 Orkney Islands Council

Arms (crest) of Kirkwall

Official blazon

Party per fess wavy Or and Azure: an ancient threemasted ship of the First, sails furled, masts and rigging Proper, flags and pennons Gules, each having a canton of the second charged with a Saint Andrew's cross Argent.

In an Escrol below the Shield is placed this Motto "Si Deus Nobiscum".


The arms were granted on November 11, 1886.

Kirkwall became a Burgh in 1475. The arms are based on the 1675 Burgh seal, and use the blue and gold colours of the ancient Earldom of Orkney.

The three-masted ship denotes that Kirkwall is an important seaport. The Latin motto-"If God be for us"-is evidently taken from Romans 8:31.

Arms (crest) of Kirkwall

Seal of Kirkwall from 1675.

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Literature: Urquhart 1973