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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
Arms : Azure two Bendlets wavy Argent between in chief a Garb and in base an Oak Tree eradicated and fructed Or in the fess point an Ox's Head caboshed Gules.
Crest : Issuing from a Mural Coronet Gules a Mount Vert thereon a representation of St. George's Tower Oxford Castle proper; Mantled Azure, doubled Argent.
Supporters : On either side an Oxford Down Ram proper gorged with a Collar Azure thereon a Bar wavy Argent.
Motto: Sapere aude (1976) Arms : Azure two Bendlets wavy Argent between in chief a Garb Or and in base an Oak Tree fructed Or.
Crest : Issuant from a Mural Crown Gules a Grassy Mount proper thereon an Oxford Down Ram proper gorged with a Collar Azure charged with a Barrulet wavy fesswise Argent; Mantled Azure doubled Argent.
Supporters : On the dexter an Ox guardant Gules gorged with a Collar Azure charged with a Barrulet wavy Argent and on the sinister a Horse Argent gorged with a like Collar on a Compartment comprising a Grassy Mound furrowed per pale and the lower edge excavated proper.
The arms were officially granted on May 25, 1976.
The wavy bend represents the Thames river and its tributaries. The blue background represents Oxford University. The garb and the tree represent the nature and the agricultural character of the county.
The crest shows a ram on a mound. The mound is the mound of Oxford Castle, founded in 1071 and the seat of government for a long time and the modern County Hall is situated on the same location.
The ram is a Oxford Down ram, a local breed of sheep. It symbolises the historical importance of wool trading. The ram wears a collar from the shield.
The red ox supporter is taken from the arms of Oxford city. The white horse is taken from the old arms of the Berkshire County Council, as part of Berkshire, the Vale of White Horse, was transferred to Oxfordshire. Both supporters wear a collar of the shield.
The arms replaced older arms, granted on May 5, 1949.
The main design is similar as the newer arms were largely based on the old arms. The difference is the ox in the centre (representing ox-ford) and the two rams as supporters. The crest shows a mural crown and a representation of St. George's Tower, which symbolises the close connection between the County and the Castle, which is the site both of the ancient shire hall and the modern county hall.
The motto means 'Dare to be wise' and is that of Lord Macclesfield, Chairman of the County Council when the arms were granted. It is taken from the First Book of Horace's Epistles.
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Literature: Information provided by the Oxfordshire County Council and www.civicheraldry.co.uk