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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
Or, an eagle with two heads displayed Sable, armed and membered Gules, holding in his dexter claw an ancient handbell Proper, in the flanches two hounds paleways confrontee Proper, collared of the Third and belied Proper, in the two base points as many fish hauriant addorsed, that in the dexter in bend and that on the sinister in bend sinister, both Proper, holding in their mouths an annulet of the Third.
Above the Shield is placed a Burghal coronet.
The arms were officially granted on April 4, 1929.
Lanark became a Royal Burgh by between 1153 and 1159 in the reign of King Malcolm IV, but the date of its foundation may be slightly earlier.
The arms are based on the old seals of the Burgh, the oldest known impression being dated 1357. There are on record seven different seals which have been used in the six succeeding centuries, and that introduced at the beginning of the 20th century has a mural crown above the shield with the arms.
The double-headed eagle appears on each seal but other details vary. The eagle is thought to be the Roman eagle; there were several Roman camp sites near Lanark. The two hounds recall that Lanark was a favourite hunting seat of King Alexander I (1107-1124) and other early Scottish Kings.
The fish with the rings in their mouths and the ancient handbell are for St. Kentigern or Mungo (see also Glasgow); the ancient parish church of Lanark, where the famous Scottish patriot, William Wallace, was married to Marian Braidfute, was dedicated to St. Kentigern.
Seal of the burgh as used in the 1890s
The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905
The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1925
Or, an eagle with two heads displayed Sable, armed and membered Gules, holding in his dexter claw an ancient hand-bell Proper, in chief a burghal coronet Sable, in the flanches two hounds paleways confrontee Proper, collared of the Third and belied Proper, in the two base points as many fish hauriant addorsed, that on the dexter in bend and that on the sinister in bend sinister both Proper, holding in their mouths an annulet of the Third.
Above the Shield is placed a Coronet appropriate to a statutory Community Council, videlicet:- a circlet richly chased from which are issuant four thistle leaves (one and two halves visible) and four pine cones (two visible) Or.
The arms were granted on November 8, 1978.
The arms are based on the old burgh arms, but with the crown of a community council. Also, a small mural crwon was added to the shield, indicating that Lanark was a Royal Burgh.
Literature : Urquhart, 1974, 2001
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