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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
Arms : Quarterly Gules and Azure on a Cross Argent between a Garb in the first quarter a Bee-hive in the second a Rose slipped and leaved in the third and a thistle also slipped and leaved in the fourth all proper a Bee volant of the last.
Crest : On a Wreath of the Colours upon a Mount Vert a Cubit Arm in bend vested Azure cuff Argent the hand proper holding seven Ears of Wheat Or.
Motto: Scientiae et labori detur.
The arms were officially granted on 1876. The bee is the emblem of industry, the hive represents the straw-plaiting industry of which Luton was famous. The wheat sheaf represents agriculture and the supply of wheat straw. The straw-plaiting industry was brought to Luton by a group of Scots under the protection of Sir John Napier of Luton Hoo. The rose is taken from the arms of the Napier family, whereas the thistle is a symbol for Scotland.
The crest shows a hand with a bunch of wheat, either taken again as a symbol of the straw-plaiting, but they may also be derived from the arms of John Whethamsteade, Abbot of St. Albans who rebuilt in the 15th century the chancel of St. Mary's Church in Luton.
The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905
The arms on a Wills's cigarette card, 1906
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