Vale of Glamorgan

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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
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Additions : 1974 Barry (Borough), Cardiff RDC (partly), Cowbridge (Borough), Cowbridge RDC (partly), Penarth UDC

Arms (crest) of Vale of Glamorgan

Official blazon

Arms : Per pale Or and Gules a Pile counterchanged over all three Chevronels per pale and per pile Argent and Gules.
Crest : On a Wreath Argent and Gules issuing from the top of a Tower Or a demi Bear supporting a Ship's Mast with a main sail furled proper; Mantled Gules doubled Or and Argent.
Supporters : On a Compartment representing the Coastline of Glamorgan with two Headlands proper and an Inlet of the Sea barry wavy Azure Argent and Azure with a Sandy Beach and Cliffs proper on the dexter upon a Garb fesswise Or a Unicorn Argent armed maned crined and unguled Or gorged with two Bars gemel and crowned with a Mural Crown Gules masoned Or and on the sinister on a like Garb a Lion Gules charged on the body with six Crosses Crosslet Argent head and mane of the same crowned with a Mural Crown Gules masoned Or.
Motto : 'UNDOD CADERNID CYNNYDD' - Unity Strength Progress


The arms were officially granted on September 10, 1975.

The arms are based on the arms of lestyn ap Gwrgant, Ruler of Glamorgan, or rather those attributed to him, Gules three chevronels Argent. These arms have been combined with the arms of the de Clare family, Gold three chevronels Gules. The pile or V-shaped device issuing from the chief provides an outline of the initial letter of the Vale and its wedge shape may also be taken to be a very simple picture of a vale.

The supporters have been chosen as the unicorn to stand for Barry and the lion for Cowbridge, as these were part of the old arms of these councils. Each, to make it appropriate to the Vale of Glamorgan as a local authority, is crowned with a mural crown as an emblem of civic responsibility. The six churches which were founded in or about Llanilltud Fawr are represented by the number of crosses on the body of the lion supporter.

The supporters stand upon a 'Compartment', which presents in partly conventionalised form, the coast of Glamorgan with its headlands and inlets, beaches and cliffs; the garbs or sheaves of wheat which also appear upon the Compartment are a way of commemorating the agricultural activities of the Vale.

The crest derives from the 'Bear of Penarth' combined with a ship's mast and sail, as a reference to the Arms attributed to St.Illtyd which are of significance in standing for Llantwit Major. The tower from which the Penarth Bear emerges also alludes to Llantwit, three towers appearing in the arms attributed to St.Illtyd.

The Welsh motto is Undod-Cadernid-Cynnydd which translates as Unity-Strength-Progress.

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Literature : Image and information provided by Laurence Jones.

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