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Civic heraldry of Australia
State : Victoria
Arms : Argent, on a Cross cotised Gules between in the first quarter a Fleece proper, banded Azure, ringed Gules, in the second quarter on a Mount a Black Bull statant, in the third quarter on Waves of the Sea a Whale naiant spouting, and in the fourth quarter on Waves of the Sea a three-masted Ship in full sail, a representation of the Royal Crown all also proper.
Crest : On a Wreath of the Colours, out of a Mural Crown Or, a demi Kangaroo to the sinister regardant proper.
Supporters : On either side a Lion rampant Or, crowned with a Mural Crown Sable, and gorged with a Collar Gules charged with two Mullets Argent, attached thereto a Chain reflexed over the back also Gules.
Motto: 'Vires Acquirit Eundo'.
The present arms were granted on March 18, 1970.
The first arms of Melbourne were granted on January 30, 1940 and are similar to the arms used at present. In the old arms the first quarter showed the whale, the second the fleece, the third the bull and the fourth the ship. The supporters were added in 1970.
The arms are based on the seal used by the city from 1843-1940. The seal showed the same figures in the quarters, but in the sequence as in the present arms.
The cross in the arms is the cross of St. George, the patron saint of England and taken from the English flag. The four symbols in the quarters represent the main activities of which the economy of Melbourne was based in the mid 19th century : whaling, sheep and cattle rearing and processing, and shipping.
The crest shows a kangaroo, an obvious local symbol.
The lion supporters were taken from the arms of Lord Melbourne, Prime Minister of Great Britain, after whom the city was named in 1837. To distinguish the supporters the lions in the arms of the city are augmented with mural crowns.
The old arms as seen in the city
The arms on a matchbox label
Literature : Information leaflet published by the city of Melbourne.