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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
Azure, an abbey of three pyramids Argent each ensigned with a cross patee Or.
And on the reverse of the seal is insculped in a field Azure, the figure of Saint Bryce with long garments, on his head a mitre, in the dexter hand a fleur-de-lys, the sinister laid upon his breast, all Proper, standing in the porch of the church or abbey ensigned on the top as before, all betwixt a decrescent and a star in fess Or.
The Motto is "Vigilando Munio".
The arms were granted in 1673.
Kirkcaldy appears as a Burgh of the Abbot of Dunfermline in a Royal Charter dated between 1315 and 1324. It was not until 1644 that it was created a Royal Burgh by King Charles I.
The the abbey in the arms may refer to the church of Kirkcaldy dedicated in 1242 to St. Bryce, a disciple of St. Martin of Tours, or it may have some connection with the west gable of Dunfermline Abbey.
Seal of the burgh as used in the 1890s
The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905
The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1935
Azure, an abbey of three pyramids Argent, each charged with a cross pattee Or, between in chief dexter a garb and sinister a buckle and in base a lymphad, sails furled, oars in action, all of the Last.
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 Shield this Motto "Vigilando Munio".
The arms were granted on October 17, 1975.
These show the abbey from the arms of the Burgh of Kirkcaldy. To the Kirkcaldy arms have been added a gold buckle to mark the Leslie connection with part of the District, a garb in reference to its agricultural interests, and a galley for the shipping, fishing and other sea-faring interests of its coastal towns.
The Latin motto was the motto of the Royal burgh of Kirkcaldy.
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Literature: Porteous, 1906; Urquhart, 1974, 1979, 2001