Orkney Islands Council
Addition : 1976 Orkney County Council; Burghs of Kirkwall and Stromness, Districts of Eday, Hoy & Walls, Mainland, North Ronaldshay, Rousay, Sanday, Shapinsay, South Ronaldshay, Stronsay, Westray & Papa Westray
Parted per pale Azure and Gules: in the dexter a dragon galley Or, sails furled Argent, and in the sinister a lion rampant imperially crowned Or, armed and langued Azure, holding in its forepaws a battle axe erect inpale Gold.
Above the Shield is placed a coronet appropriate to a statutory Islands Area, videlicet:- a circlet richly chased, from which are issuant four dolphins two and two respectant naiant embowed (two visible) Or; and on a Compartment below the Shield, with this Motto "Boreas Domus Mare Amicus", are set for Supporters, dexter, a udaller habited of the fifteenth century, and sinister, a unicorn Argent, armed, maned and unguled Or, and gorged with a collar Gules, from which is pendant an oval badge Azure, fimbriated Or, charged with a saltire Argent.
The arms were granted on March 3, 1975.
The arms show the blue field and gold galley of the ancient Earldom of Orkney and the red field and golden crowned lion from the Royal Arms of Norway recalling that Orkney was once Norwegian territory. The battle-axe held by the lion has been coloured gold for difference.
The Latin motto-"The North our home, the sea our friend"- was chosen in 1931.
The supporters are a udallerer, a term which, under the udal system of land tenure in Orkney and Shetland, covered the whole of the landowning class, who is appropriately dressed in their best clothes, and a unicorn. The latter is a common element to the three Islands Councils in Scotland.
The arms are partly based on an old seal of the Communitas Orcadiae from 1425. This seal showed the Norwegian Royal Arms with two supporters.
Orkney County Council
Abolished 1976 and incorporated into the Orkney Islands Council.
Parted per pale Azure and Gules: in the dexter a dragon galley Or, sails furled Argent, and in the sinister a lion rampant imperially crowned Or, armed and langued Azure, holding in its forepaws a battle-axe erect in pale Gold.
On a Compartment below the Shield with this Motto "Boreas Domus Mare Amicus" are set for Supporters two udallers habited of the fifteenth century.
The arms were officially granted on March 3, 1931.
The arms are identical to the arms described above, however, with two udaller supporters and without a crown.
Literature : Urquhart 1973, 1979
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