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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

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Incorporated into : 1975 Ettrick and Lauderdale (1996 Scottish Borders)

Coat of arms (crest) of Selkirk

Official blazon

Or, on a mount before a grove of oak trees, the Blessed Virgin seated on a bench with the Holy Child in her arms, all Proper, against her feet an escutcheon of 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 crown suitable to a Royal Burgh and in an Escrol under the Shield this Motto "Et Spreta Incolumem Vita Defendere Famam".


The arms were officially granted on June 14, 1930.

Selkirk dates as a Royal Burgh certainly from 1328 in the reign of King Robert I and may be an earlier foundation.

The arms come from the Burgh seal which is based on the seal on the Abbey of St. Mary and St. John the Evangelist founded at Selkirk by King David I about 1120.

Selkirk means "the church in the forest" and the Virgin and Child and the oak trees stand for the Church of St. Mary in the Royal Forest of Ettrick. The use of the Royal escutcheon was accepted by Lord Lyon Grant after it had been proved to have been in use on the Burgh seal prior to 1426.

The Latin motto-"And to defend her sacred honour at the risk of life itself' would seem most appropriate to the blazon; it is, however, just possible that it may have some reference to a local legend associated with Ladywoodedge near the town.

seal of Selkirk

Seal of the burgh as used in the 1890s
Coat of arms (crest) of Selkirk

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

The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1935

The arms are now used by the Royal Burgh of Selkirk and District Community Council.

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Literature : Urquhart, 1974, 1979, 2001