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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
Azure, springing from a meadow in base a rose-tree in full flower, and pendant therefrom, between an eagle and a dove addorsed Argent, an escutcheon charged with the Royal Arms of Scotland-Or, within a double tressure flory counterflory, a lion rampant Gules, armed and langued Azure.
Above the Shield is placed a mural coronet suitable to a Burgh and in an Escrol under the same this Motto "Dae Richt Fear Nocht".
The arms were officially granted on June 20, 1936.
Kelso is mentioned in 1237 as a Burgh dependent on the Abbey and Convent of Kelso (founded by King David I in 1128).
The arms follow closely the device on the Burgh seal in use in 1892, see below. The rose tree, with the Royal arms and the two birds, appears on a seal of the Royal Burgh of Roxburgh, of which an impression of 1296 is on record; in effect, Kelso has been allowed to inherit the arms of the ancient Royal Burgh of Roxburgh.
The birds have been made an eagle (for St. John) and a dove (for the Virgin Mary), since Kelso Abbey was dedicated to them. In an old seal of the Abbey the Virgin is shown holding a branch on top of which a dove is perched and so, on this occasion, the dove has been used to symbolise her.
The Scots motto was chosen in 1936 at the suggestion of Mr.John Pennie.
Seal of the burgh as used in the 1890s
The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905
Azure, springing from a meadow in base a rose tree in full flower Proper and pendant therefrom, between an eagle and a dove addorsed Argent, an escutcheon charged with the Royal Arms of Scotland, viz., Or, within a double tressure flory and counterflory a lion rampant Gules, armed and langued Azure.
Above the Shield is placed a Coronet appropriate to a statutory Community Council, videlicet:- a circlet richly chased from which are issuant four thistle leaves (one and two halves visible) and four pine cones (two visible) Or, and in an Escrol below the same this Motto "Dae Richt, Fear Nocht".
The arms were granted on February 1, 1978
The arms are based on the old burgh arms, but with the crown of a community council.
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Literature: Urquhart, 1974, 1979, 2001