Antrim (county)

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ANTRIM

Arms (crest) of Antrim (county)

Official blazon

Arms :Or, a lion rampant gules holding in the dexter paw a cross crosslet fitchée azure; on a chief vert, between two towers a pale argent, theron a dexter hand appaumée also gules.
Crest : On a wreath of the colours, A demi figure representing St. Patrick in a habit vert trimmed with gold, the nuimbus Or, holding in the dexter hand a slip of shamrock and supporting over the sinister shoulder a shepherd's croos proper.
Supporters : On either side a wolf gules, that on the dexter holding in the mouth a slip of flax flowered, that on the sinister a wheat ear, both stalked and leaved proper
Compartment  : The whole on a compartment of basaltic rock proper, representing the Giant's Causeway.
Motto : 'PER ANGUSTA AD AUGUSTA'

Origin/meaning

The arms were officially granted on March 28, 1952.

The shield is divided into green and alternate waves of white and blue, symbolizing the rural areas and Lough Neagh and Six-Mile-Water. On the base stands a castle gateway like that leading to the Castle at Antrim, and behind it rises the Round Tower. Two gold sheaves of barley, each behind a gold shuttle, flank each side of the castle referencing the ancient linen-making and more modern textile industries.

The crest - the red eagle with gold beak - is from the arms of the Pakenham family, the Norman family of de Courcy and is connected with the priory at Muckamore's history. The gold "cross moline" is that of the Viscount Templetown of Templepatrick.

The supporters represent the two great families of the area, the Massereenes and the O'Neills. The black stags, with gold hooves and antlers, have a ribbon of nylon about their necks alluding to the local importance of British Enkalon and from each hangs a chaplet of gold roses. The stags are a variation of the supporters of the Viscounts Massereene and Ferrard, and are derived from the crest of their ancestors and Clotworthys, so important in the early days of Antrim. Each stag holds in the mouth the sword from the O'Neills of Shane's Castle's crest.

The motto is that of the Massereene family, PER ANGUSTA AD AUGUSTA: "Through hard times to prosperity."


Literature : Image and information provided by Laurence Jones. Nireland.jpg