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Our State Arms

New South Wales

The New South Wales coat of arms were granted by HM King Edward VII by Royal Warrant on 11 October 1906.

These Arms reflects both the State’s original connection with England – the Cross of St George, the heraldic lions and its overall red, white and blue colours – and also the main agricultural pursuits of the State.

The Rising Sun in the crest also appears in the Rising Sun Badge of the Australian Military Forces. The four gold stars represent the four major stars of the constellation of the Southern Cross.

A blue shield onto which has been placed a red cross edged with silver and at the centre of which is a golden lion with the right forepaw raised and looking at the observer. On each arm of the cross is an eight-pointed gold star. In the top right and bottom left corners (as you stand behind the shield) both on blue backgrounds is a golden sheep’s fleece, banded for hanging with silver straps. In the top left and bottom right corners, also on blue backgrounds is a golden sheaf of corn.

On a wreath of twisted silks coloured blue and silver a golden rising sun each ray having a red point.

On the right side of the shield (as you stand behind it) a golden lion standing vertically on its hind quarters with both forepaws raised and looking at the observer; on the left side a golden Kangaroo.

Motto - ORTA RECENS QUAM PURA NITES

In English - Newly Arisen How Brightly You Shine

Queensland

Queensland ArmsThe Arms (without Supporters) were granted by HM Queen Victoria by Royal Warrant on 29 April 1893. The Supporters were granted by HM Queen Elizabeth II by Royal Warrant on 9 March 1977.
Across the top of the shield a gold panel on which there is a bull’s head in profile muzzled, cut off at the neck and a merino ram’s head, facing each other, both naturally coloured. In the lower portion of the shield on the right hand side (as you stand behind it) on the black background a golden sheaf of corn; on the left side on a red background and on a green mound, a golden obelisk standing on a pile of quartz with a crossed pick and shovel in the foreground.

On a wreath of twisted gold and black silks a green mound on which stands a blue Maltese Cross surmounted with an Imperial Crown between two sugar canes in their natural colours.

On the right side of the shield (as you stand behind it) a red deer (standing on its hind legs), and on the left side a brolga with its wings spread back to back, with tips upwards, both in their natural colours.

Motto - AUDAX AT FIDELIS

Motto in plain English - Bold, Aye and Faithful Too!

Queensland’s coat of arms is the oldest State arms in Australia. The arms reflect the main agricultural industries (cattle, sheep, grain and sugar cane) and mining in the State. The reasons for the choice of the Maltese Cross first used in the Colony’s naval ensign in the 1850s and subsequently used as the crest is speculative. Some say it is the approximate shape of the Victoria Cross; however, it is more similar to the Cross of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. The red deer was introduce into Queensland from the Royal herds near London, and the brolga is one of the State’s more distinctive native birds.

South Australia

These Arms were originally granted by HM Queen Elizabeth II by Royal Warrant on 19 April 1984 and superseded Arms conferred by HM King Edward VIII on 20 November 1936.

A blue shield on which there is a golden disc to represent the sun within which is an Australian Piping Shrike with its wings outstretched perched on a twig of a gum tree, both in their natural colours. (Note that as the tail of the bird is on the viewer’s side of the perch, it is the white back of the bird which is seen).

The wreath of twisted silks, on which the four sprigs of the flowers sit, is coloured gold, blue and red. The desert peas are produced in their natural colours.

On either side of the bottom of the shield, which stands on a grassy mound, is a bunch of grapes, the vines of which are climbing up a stake. On each side there are also stalks of wheat and barley. On the right hand side (as you stand behind the shield) are lying some citrus fruits and on the left side a miner’s pick is lying between two cog wheels – all the items being depicted in their natural colours.

Motto - SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The early badge of South Australia, an Australian Piping Shrike appeared as the State’s badge in the Commonwealth Coat of Arms in 1912. It was not until 72 years later that the shrike was made the principal charge on the State’s new coat of arms. As in other States, South Australia’s pursuits of agriculture (viticulture and grain production) and mining are represented, but in a novel way on a compartment on which the shield of arms stands. There are no supporters, and so it is not clear how the shield remains upright!

Tasmania

These Arms were originally granted by HM King George V by Royal Warrant on 21 May 1917.

On a horizontal silver panel across the centre of the shield a standing ram in its natural colours. In the top right corner of the shield (as you stand behind it ) on a red background a sheaf of golden corn and in the top left corner on a blue and silver wavy background a golden symbol representing a thunderbolt (winged lightning and so on). At the bottom right corner, also on a blue wavy background four golden apples, and in the bottom left corner on a red background a branch of golden hops.

On a wreath of red and silver twisted silks, a red lion standing on all paws with the right forepaw raised and resting on a crossed spade and pick-axe in their natural colours.

On either side, the now extinct, thylacines.

Motto - UBERTAS ET FIDELITAS

Motto in plain English - Fruitfulness and Fidelity

These arms reflect the State’s wool industry and its agricultural pursuits – the growing of apples and hops (where they were first grown in Australia). The more recent development of hydro-electric power is also represented on a blue and white design to represent the lakes on which the power is based and the sea which surrounds the State. The red lion, and the overall red, white and blue colours look back to Van Diemen’s Land’s English origin.

Victoria

These Arms were originally granted by HM King George V by Royal Warrant on 6 June 1910. They were slightly modified by HM Queen Elizabeth II by Royal Warrant on 28 March 1973.

A blue shield on which there are five silver stars (one of eight points, two of seven points, one of six points and one of five points) representing the stars of the Southern Cross – the different number of points representing the differing magnitude of brilliance.

On a silver and blue wreath of twisted silks, a Kangaroo cut off at the middle in its natural colours, holding in its paws a gold Imperial Crown.

On the right side of the shield (as you stand behind it) a woman in a silver gown with a blue stole with an olive branch in her right hand and an olive leaf wreath round her head; and on the left a woman in a silver gown with a red stole with a wreath of corn round her head and supporting a horn of plenty in her left hand.

The whole rests on a grassy mound out of which on either side fo the shield is a representation of the Common (Pink) Heath.

Motto - PEACE AND PROSPERITY

Victoria’s coat of arms incorporates the stars of the Southern Cross which first appeared on the Colony’s flag in the 1850s. It was also included in the State’s badge in the 1912 Commonwealth Coat of Arms. The changes in the 1973 grant of Arms incorporated a grassy mound compartment out of which the newly proclaimed Floral Emblem could grow. Changes to modernise the gowns worn by the two lady Supporters were also included.

Western Australia

These Arms were granted by HM Queen Elizabeth II by Royal Warrant on 17 March 1969.

A silver shield, with a Black Swan in its natural colours, swimming on a wavy blue water within which there is a wavy silver bar. (The swan is facing to the right as you stand behind the shield).

On a wreath of twisted silks coloured black and gold sits a Royal Crown between two Kangaroo Paw with flowers attached to the parent stalk i.e. ‘slipped’.

On either side are Red Kangaroos (Megaleia rufa), which are indigenous to Western Australia. The boomerangs are show in their natural colour being held in the forepaws nearest to the observer.

Western Australia has no motto. The Black Swan has been used as the official State emblem or badge from the earliest days of the Colony. It should be noted that the swan is swimming in a different direction to that in the State’s badge in the Commonwealth coat of arms!

Northern Territory

These arms were granted by HM Queen Elizabeth II by Royal Warrant on 11 September 1978.

On an orange/tawny shield an Arnhem Land rock painting in silver of a woman with stylised internal organs, and vertically each side of the woman, also in silver, stylised representations of camping sites joined by journey or path markings.

On a wreath of twisted silks coloured silver and tawny orange a wedgetailed eagle with its wings raised as for landing, grasping in its talons an aboriginal stone engraved according to tradition.

On either side a Red Kangaroo sitting, with its head turned to the observer; that on the right (as you stand behind the shield) holding in its right forepaw a Spider Conch shell, and that on the left holding in its left forepaw a Heart Cockle shell.

From a sandy grassy mound grow two representations of Sturt’s Desert Rose in their natural colours.

These arms are probably unique including as they do many representations of Northern Territory aboriginal symbols including, rather unusually, a woman’s internal organs. The Red Kangaroo is the most common type of kangaroo found in the Northern Territory and Sturt’s Desert Rose is the floral emblem of the Territory and appears in symbolic form on the Northern Territory flag.

Norfolk Island

These Arms were granted by HM Queen Elizabeth II by Royal Warrant on 20 October 1980.

A blue shield with a silver triangular shape rising from the base almost to the top of the shield; in each of the top corners a single five-pointed silver star. At the base of the shield on a rocky mound a Norfolk Island pine in its natural colours, at its base an open book (almost certainly The Bible) with gold-edged pages and read leather binding.

A blue naval crown out of which a golden lion cut off at the middle with a green laurel wreath round its neck and holding in its paws a golden covered cup.

On the right side (when standing behind the shield) a lion, and on the left side a kangaroo, both in their natural colours, their outer (the viewer’s side) forepaws each resting on the ring of a vertical blue anchor.

Motto - INASMUCH

Norfolk Island’s coat of arms is full of symbolic meaning as the population contains many descendants of the original mutineers of the Bounty from Pitcairn Island. The Naval Crown is a reminder that Bounty was one of His Majesty’s ships of the Royal Navy – as do the naval anchors. The motto and open Bible are a reminder of the strict religious regimen imposed by Adams – and the principal charge is the famous pine (Arancaria excelsa).

Note:

No coat of arms has been granted to the Australian Capital Territory, the Australian Antarctic Territory or for our other possessions including Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Coral Sea Islands, Cocos Islands, and Heard and McDonald Islands.

The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc.