Country : Belgium
The arms were first officially granted on June 6, 1811 by Napoleon. On November 24 1819 the arms were granted by the Dutch government, with two lion supporters. After the First World War the arms were again granted on September 12, 1924 with 2 military crosses. A third was added on May 25, 1928 and a fourth on February 1, 1947. These arms were confirmed after the mergers on February 2, 1978.
The arms of Liège show a monument or 'perron'. The perron is most likely derived form an actual monument in the city. It is first seen on a coin of Hendrik II of Limburg, as Prince-Bishop of Liège, dating between 1145 and 1165. The perron was shown freely on coins until the mid 14th century, when the symbol was placed in a shield. Whether the city at the time already used it as city arms is not known.
Ever since the perron, including the base with the three lions, has been the arms of the city. The actual shape, however has varied widely during the centuries, and similarly, not all images show the lions. In the late 17th century the whole name, LIÈGE was shown around the perron. The letters L and G appear for the first time in the late 18th century.
The arms granted by Napoleon show the perron without the lions, which were transformed to three lion heads in the base of the arms. In the chief three bees, symbol of a city of the First Rank, were added.
Why in 1819 two lion supporters were added is not known. Unfortunately the register only shows the lions partially drawn.
Since the 17th century the arms on the seals are shown with Saint Lambertus, the local patron saint, as a supporter behind the shield.
The arms in a 16th century manuscript
The arms in the Wapen- en Vlaggenboek van Gerrit Hesman (1708)
The arms in the Koffie Hag/Café Hag albums +/- 1930
The arms in the Abadie albums
The arms on a police badge (source)
The arms on a Dutch Willem II cigar band
Literature: Servais, 1955
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