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Lisburn's symbolic Coat, of Arms

Lisburn's Coat of Arms

THE Lisburn Borough Coat of Arms, which can be seen on many signs placed on main roads on the outskirts of the town, was granted on November 15, 1966.

A lot of interesting local history was woven into its intricate design and each of the colourful illustrations has an individual symbolic meaning.

In the centre is a shield in blue with a gold cross, the centre of which is engraved and has a design of a Bishops mitre which indicates that Lisburn was a cathedral town for more than 300 years.

The ends of the cross are in a Fleur de Lys referring to the early Huguenots settlers. In the top left-hand quarter of the shield a silver shuttle with gold thread are symbolic of the linen industry and in the lower right quarter a silver ostrich's head with a gold horseshoe in it's beak are from the arms of Sir Richard Wallace and refer to his fame as a collector.

The shield is surmounted by a helmet with a blue and gold mantle ., and on the helmet is a blue and gold wreath bearing a red crown in the shape of a wall with battlements, which is the badge of the municipality.

Standing on the battlements is a black gamecock with red comb and wattles, which is a punning reference to the old name of the town - Lisnagarvey, the fort of the gamesters.

On each side of the crown and gamecock is a sprig of flowering flax in its natural colours; The `supporter on each side is a black phoenix rising from flames in their natural colours.

Each phoenix has a gold beak and wears a small red mural crown similar to that on the crest. These and the motto 'I will arise out of the fire' refer to fact that the town was twice burnt down and rebuilt in its early days.

(Ulster Star 1987)