The arms of Poitou show 5 castles, which are derived from the arms of the Kingdom of Castille, now part of Spain, and the castles are a canting element for Castille.The old historical arms of the Poitou are rather different, showing a red lion within a black bordure with several golden besants. These are the historical arms of the Counts of Poitou. At present the region of Poitou is often represented by the red lion, but the lion has no official status.
The oldest arms of Poitou
After the Poitou became French, the new Counts of Poitou changed the arms, by dividing the shield with the French Royal fleur-de-lis and the castles of Castille, due to the fact that he was the son of a Princess of Castille.
The second arms of Poitou
After his dead the region passed on to the French throne and no arms were used. Later the arms of the Poitou were reinstalled and now showed a shield only semee with the castles.
The third arms of Poitou
These arms were not described properly, so many different versions exist, with 3-5 towers in different shapes and positions. After the French Revolution the Poitou province became obsolete and thus no arms were used. In 1950 the arms above were again granted for the Poitou region.
The arms in the Wapen- en Vlaggenboek van Gerrit Hesman (1708)
The arms in Traversier (1842)
The arms in the Café Sanka album +/- 1932
The arms on a postcard by Kroma
The arms on a Barré Dayez Postcard
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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink
Literature : Image taken from La banque du blason (with permission)