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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
Incorporated into: 1974 Sedgemoor
Arms : Gules rising from Water barry wavy in base proper the Piers of a Bridge Or thereon a Castle Argent portcullis raised thereunder a Leopard's Face in chief an Estoile of eight points and a Fleur-de-Lys Gold.
Crest : On a Wreath Argent and Gules an Ancient Ship Or in full sail rigging Sable flags and pennant Argent each charged with a Cross Gules the sail also Argent charged with a Chevron between three Garbs of the second.
Supporters : On either side a Lion guardant Or each gorged with a Rope proper pendent therefrom on the dexter an Escutcheon Gules charged with two Bendlets wavy Gold and on the sinister an Escutcheon Argent charged with a Trivet Sable.
Motto: 'OPES CONSILIUM PARIT' - Wisdom begets wealth.
The arms were officially granted on September 19, 1952.
The shield carries the design of the seal, which has been used for centuries. The waves of blue in the water refer particularly to the double bore of the river, and the red field may be taken as a reference to the red shield of Douai in France, whence came Walter de Douai who received the grant of the town in Norman times. The star, fleur-de-lis, and leopard's face are all royal emblems, and indicate the numerous royal charters, beginning with that of King John, which the town has received.
The golden ship represents Bridgwater's importance as a port in many periods. The sail is decorated with the arms of Admiral Blake, a native of the town, and the black chevron and sheaves may also be considered to allude to the grain and coal traffic.
The lions are further royal emblems, the ropes at their necks allude to another local activity - the hemp industry. The two shields are those of the De Briwere and Trivet families. Bridgwater was granted to the De Briweres in the time of Henry II, and Walter de Briwere founded the Hospital of St John and built the Castle. Sir Thomas Trivet, who bore punning arms of a black trivet on white, completed the bridge over the River Parrett.
The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905
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