Country : Belgium
The arms were first granted on September 15, 1819, confirmed on May 6, 1839 and again on April 1st, 1985.
Vilvoorde was fortified in 1192 and ever since considered a city. The oldest seal of the city is known since 1346 and shows a castle with two towers. The second seal, known since 1366 shows a more complex castle with two towers and two banners. The banner showed a plain red field with a silver free quarter in another colour, this composition was also used as arms for the city (see image from 1500 below).
The arms are based on the third seal, which showed the same composition as the present arms, including the banners beside the towers. The castle itself is a symbol of the fortified character of the city.
The main change in the new arms from 1985 is the colour of the banners, which are now red instead of gold, the historically correct version.
In 1981 the Flemish Heraldic Committee advised to the new municipality to add the boar's head of Peutie on the banners. The municipality did not agree with this proposal. Anywat, the head would be impossible to see on smaller versions of the arms.
The arms in a 17th century manuscript
The arms in the Koffie Hag/Café Hag albums +/- 1930
The arms on a Roulertas Confiserie label
The arms on a police badge (source)
Literature: Servais, 1955; Information provided by the city of Vilvoorde, 2000; Het Volk December 10, 1981.
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