West Sussex

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Arms (crest) of West Sussex

Official blazon

Arms: Azure six Martlets three two and one and a Chief indented Or.
Crest: On a Wreath of the Colours a Sprig of Oak proper fructed with two Acorns Or within a Saxon Crown also Or.


The arms were officially granted on May 18, 1889 and again on January 14, 1975.

Arms were used by counties long before the creation of county councils. Many were devised by the Tudor heralds. Blue and red shields with six golden martlets were already shown representing Sussex in 1611.
West Sussex County Council was in 1889 one of the first county councils to be granted a coat of arms, the cost of which was defrayed by Henry 15th Duke of Norfolk.

In 1974 West Sussex was enlarged by the addition of parts of East Sussex and Surrey. Any changes in population or area of more than 10% meant that the new authority could not use the coat of arms of its predecessor. As a result the enlarged County Council sought a new coat of arms.

A helmet and ornamental scrollwork topped by a crown were taken from the arms of East Sussex together with oak leaves and acorns taken from the arms of Surrey, were added to the original shield to represent the newly acquired areas.

I have no image of the 1889 arms.

Literature : Image and information provided by Laurence Jones.