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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

DERRY (Londonderry)

Arms (crest) of Derry

Official blazon

Arms : Sable, a human skeleton Or seated upon a mossy stone proper and in dexter chief a castle triple towered argent on a chief also argent a cross gules thereon a harp or and in the first quarter a sword erect gules.
Motto: Vita, veritas, victoria


The arms were officially granted on April 28, 1953, but was already confirmed by the College of Arms on June 1, 1623.

The 1623 arms also used a harp in the centre of the cross, which was omitted in 1953.


The pre 1953 arms with the harp

The old arms as used on a local bridge

The devices an Derry's arms are a skeleton, a three-towered castle and a red cross and sword. The sword and cross are devices of the City of London and show the link between the two cities. The castle is thought to relate to a 13th or 14th century keep belonging to the local native chieftains. There a many theories about the skeleton. The most popular one is that it is that of a Norman knight who was starved to death in the castle dungeons in 1332.

Arms (crest) of Derry

The arms on a Wills's cigarette card, 1906
Arms (crest) of Derry

The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1925
Arms (crest) of Derry

The arms at the Bank Of Ireland, Trinity, Dublin.

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