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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
Incorporated into : 1976 Orkney Islands Council
Party per fess wavy Or and Azure: an ancient threemasted ship of the First, sails furled, masts and rigging Proper, flags and pennons Gules, each having a canton of the second charged with a Saint Andrew's cross Argent.
In an Escrol below the Shield is placed this Motto "Si Deus Nobiscum".
The arms were granted on November 11, 1886.
Kirkwall became a Burgh in 1475. The arms are based on the 1675 Burgh seal, and use the blue and gold colours of the ancient Earldom of Orkney.
The three-masted ship denotes that Kirkwall is an important seaport. The Latin motto-"If God be for us"-is evidently taken from Romans 8:31.
Seal of Kirkwall from 1675.
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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink
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Literature: Urquhart 1973