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The arms were officially granted in 1923.
Vorarlberg was first mentioned in the 9th century and until the 12th century it was a possession of the Counts of Bregenz. Their successors, the Counts of Montfort, gradually lost the territory to the Dukes of Austria. In 1376 most of the original Vorarlberg had become a possession of Austria. Later some small territories were added, the latest in 1814.
Vorarlberg did not have its own arms until 1863, when Emperor Franz Joseph I granted rather complicated arms. The shield showed nine fields :
I : The arms of the city of Bregenz. Bregenz became part of Austria in 1523.
II : The arms of the county of Sonnenberg; in blue a golden sun above a mountain. Sonneberg became part of Austria in 1474.
III : In silver a white church with red roof, flanked by two small silver shields with a black cross. These arms were based on the old seal of the city of Feldkirch.
IV : The arms of the city of Bludenz.
V : The escutcheon, showing in silver a red banner, the historical arms of the Counts of Montfort.
VI : In blue a golden ibex, arms of the County Hohenems.
VII : The arms of the town of Dornbirn
VIII : In silver two crossed black keys, for the St. Peter Convent in Bludenz.
The shield was surrounded by a mantle.
The present arms were granted in 1923 and only showed the former escutcheon, the arms of the Counts of Montfort.
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Literature : Gall, 1996