Dundee

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Arms (crest) of Dundee
DUNDEE

Country:

  • United Kingdom
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    • Scotland

Status:

  • City
    • 1975-1996 District Council (part of Tayside Region)
      • (< 1975) Burgh


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Official blazon
English
  • (Burgh) Azure, a pot of three growing lilies Argent. Above the Shield is placed a mural coronet and a Helmet befitting the degree of a Royal Burgh with a Mantling Azure doubled Argent, and on a Wreath of the same Liveries is set for Crest a lily Argent, and in an Escrol over the same this Motto "Dei Donum"; in another Escrol below the Shield this Motto "Prudentia et Candore", the said Shield having for Supporters two dragons, wings elevated, their tails nowed together underneath Vert.
  • (District) Azure, a pot of three growing lilies Argent. Above the Shield is placed a coronet appropriate to a statutory District, videlicet:- a circlet richly chased, from which are issuant eight thistle­ heads (three and two halves vis­ ible) Or; and on a Wreath of the Colours is set for Crest a lily Argent; and in an Escrol over the same this Motto "Dei Donum, and in another Escrol under the Shield this Motto "Prudentia et Candore", the said Shield having for Supporters two dragons, wings elevated, their tails nowed together underneath, Vert.
  • (city) Argent, a pot of three growing lilies Argent. Above the shield is placed a Coronet appropriate to a statutory Council of a City, videlicet:- a mural coronet Or, masoned Sable, and on a wreath of the Liveries is set for Crest a lily Argent, and in an Escrol over 'the same this Motto "Dei Donum" and in another Escrol under the Shield this Motto "Prudentia et Candore", the said Shield having for Supporters two dragons, wings elevated, their tails nowed together underneath, Vert.

Origin/meaning

The Burgh arms were first recorded on July 30, 1673 and officialy granted on October 6, 1932. The District arms were granted on October 2, 1975 and the City arms on June 3, 1996.

The main shield shows a pot with three growing (natural) lilies. The lilies first appear on the seal of the city in 1416. The lilies as well as the blue colour symbolise St. Mary the patron saint of the city.

The two dragon supporters date from the 17th century, but their meaning or origin is not known. They may have been a symbol for trade and symbolise the sea, but there is another theory stating that they are derived from two lions, already seen on a 15th century seal of the city showing St. Clement.

The historical motto is Dei Donum (God's Gift) and has always been placed above the shield. According to legend, the city received its name and motto from the fact that David, Earl of Huntingdon, when returning from the Crusades sailed into a storm in the Firth of Tay. He managed to land safely on a place which, in gratitude, he called Donum Dei, which evolved into Dundee.
The name, however, is of Gaelic origin and means the Hill of God (Dún Dè) or Hill of Tay (Dún Taw).

Although not officially described, the supporters have been standing on a knotted rope for many centuries.

The second motto, "Prudentia et Candore" (With thought and purity), was added in 1932 and may be a further reference to the H. Mary.

The District arms were those of the former burgh, without the helmet and mantling and with a different coronet. The city arms were based on the District arms, but with a new crown.


Image gallery

Literature: Porteous, 1906; Urquhart, 1974, 1979, 2001; Dundee Courier and Adventurer, May 1932.

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