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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

  • Overseas possessions
  • Total pages in the British section : 15,737
  • Total images in the British section : 3


District council

Additions : 1975 Dumbarton, Cove and Kilcreggan, Helensburgh; Districts of Helensburgh, Old Kilpatrick (partly), Vale of Levan
Incorporated into : 1996 Argyll and Bute, West Dunbartonshire

Arms (crest) of Dumbarton

Official blazon

Azure, an elephant statant Argent, tusked Or, charged on the forehead with a crescent Gules, bearing on his back a tower Proper.

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 visible) Or;• and in an Escrol under the same this Motto" Aonaichte".


The arms were granted on July 25, 1977.

The arms are largely based on that of the former Dumbarton Burgh, see below. As a difference the elephant is standing instead of walking and has a red crescent on the forehead. The crescent in English heraldry is indicating a second son, or in this case a re-grant.

The motto "Aonaichte" means "Togetherness", and symbolises the unification of the three burghs and the districts.


Incorporated into : 1975 Dumbarton District

Arms (crest) of Dumbarton

Official blazon

Azure, an elephant passant Argent, tusked Or, bearing on his back a tower Proper.

The Motto in an Escrol is "Fortitudo et Fidelitas".


The arms were granted in 1673.

The arms are similar to ancient Burgh seal, known since 1357 and which shows the elephant passant to sinister. This is, however, changed on a later seal. The elephant is said to have been chosen because in shape it is thought to resemble Dumbarton Rock; the castle on its back is Dumbarton Castle.

The Latin motto "Fortitude and Fidelity" is considered to refer not only to the elephant but also to the fortress of Dumbarton Castle and its loyalty to the Scottish Throne.

seal of Dumbarton

Seal of the burgh as used in the 1890s
Arms (crest) of Dumbarton

The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905
Arms (crest) of Dumbarton

The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1935

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Literature : Urquhart, 1974, 1979; burgh arms from BDV cigarette silk card