Coat of arms of the Isle of Man

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The Arms of Her Majesty in Right of the Isle of Man
Coat of arms of the Isle of Man.svg
Details
Armiger Elizabeth II Lord of Mann
Adopted 12 July 1996
Crest An Imperial crown proper
Escutcheon Gules a triskele argent garnished and spurred Or
Supporters Dexter a peregrine falcon and sinister a raven both proper
Motto Quocunque jeceris stabit
Whichever way you throw, it will stand

The coat of arms of the Isle of Man dates from 12 July 1996. As the Isle of Man is a Crown dependency, the arms are more accurately[1] described as The Arms of Her Majesty in Right of the Isle of Man.

History[edit]

The Arms of Her Majesty in right of the Isle of Man were granted by Queen Elizabeth II, Lord of Mann on 12 July 1996. The arms are an augmented form of the traditional arms.[1] It has a threefold rotational symmetry. See Frieze group.

The traditional arms date back to the 13th century. The arms are recorded in the English Walford's Roll,[2] and Camden Roll,[3] as well as the French Wijbergen Roll.[2] Within the Camden Roll the arms appear illustrated as: gules, three mailed legs embowed, and conjoined at the thighs, argent; the original Norman French blazon reads: "l'escu de gules, a treis iambes armes".[3]

Symbolism[edit]

Escutcheon[edit]

Arms of the King of Mann, in the Wijbergen Roll.

The escutcheon is emblazoned: Gules a triskele argent garnished and spurred Or. The triskele (or triskelion) is an ancient symbol, consisting of three branches or legs, that radiate from a centre. The symbol is found on the flag Isle of Man, and earlier on that of Sicily.[4] The Manx triskelion is known in the Manx language as Ny Tree Cassyn ("The Three Legs"). The symbol has been associated with the island since at least the 13th century.[1]

It is unknown how the Manx triskelion was originally adopted,[1] and several theories have been put forward its origin. In 1607, English historian William Camden stated that it was derived from the Sicilian triskelion. In 1885 John Newton considered the Manx triskelion originated in the mid 13th century, when the Pope offered the throne of Sicily to Edmund, son of King Henry III of England. Newton noted that the wife of King Alexander III of Scotland was Henry's daughter, and that Alexander visited the English court in 1255. Later in 1266, Norway ceded the Isle of Man to the Kingdom of Scotland, and Newton considered it likely that Alexander utilised the triskelion for the arms of his new possession.[5][6] It has also been suggested that the ancestry of the Manx triskelion can be traced to the triquetra in a coin of Olaf Cuaran, a 10th-century Norse-Gaelic warlord who was king of Northumbria and king of Dublin. Lending credibility to this theory is the current belief that the mediaeval Manx dynasty was related to that of Olaf Cuaran. However, the gap between the 10th century and late 13th century, when the Manx triskelion is first recorded, is wide indeed, and it has been noted that several kings from this period are known to have borne a galley as their emblem, and not a triskelion.[7]

Early examples of the symbol are present in the Royal Arms ascribed to the King of Mann in several late 13th century armorials. The Manx triskelion also appears on the Manx Sword of State,[7] which is popularly said to date to the time of King Olaf the Black (d. 1237), although recent analysis has shown it more likely dates to about the 15th century.[5][8] Another example can be seen on a 14th-century stone cross in the churchyard of Maughold. Another is example is a late 14th-century seal of Sir William le Scrope, Lord of Mann, in which the Manx triskelion is depicted in plate armour, rather than mail.[7] Early representations of the Manx triskelion show the legs running clockwise, and later representations show the legs running in both directions.[5]

Supporters[edit]

The peregrine falcon is derived from the time of King John I of Mann. In 1405, he was granted the Isle of Man, on condition he paid homage to King Henry IV of England, and gave two peregrine falcons to him and every future English king their Coronation Day. The descendants of John I ruled the Isle of Man until King George III of England assumed the Lordship. The presentation of falcons continued on, until the coronation of King George IV of England, in 1822.

In keeping with the Viking history of the island, the raven featured in Norse mythology. The chief god Odin was accompanied by the two ravens Huginn and Muninn.[1]

Motto[edit]

The motto is quocunque jeceris stabit, which is Latin and means: "whichever way you throw, it will stand".[7] The motto dates to the 17th century, where it is first recorded as being present on Manx coinage dating to the year 1668.[7] It is possible that the motto became associated to the Manx triskelion through these coins.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Island Facts, Isle of Man Public Services (www.gov.im), retrieved 27 July 2010 
  2. ^ a b McAndrew, Bruce A. (2006). Scotland's Historic Heraldry (Illustrated ed.). Boydell Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-84383-261-4. 
  3. ^ a b Greenstreet, James (1882). "The Original Camden Roll of Arms". Journal of the British Archaeological Association (British Archaeological Association) 38: p. 312. 
  4. ^ Triskelion, Dictionary.com, retrieved 1 August 2010 
  5. ^ a b c d The Three Legs of Man, (www.isle-of-man.com), retrieved 1 August 2010  This webpage cited Wagner, A.R. (1959–60), The Origin of the Arms of Man, Manx Museum 6  This webpage also cited Megaw, B.R.S. (1959–60), The Ship Seals of the Kings of Man, Manx Museum 6 
  6. ^ The Armorial Bearings of the Isle of Man: Their origin, history, and Meaning, (www.isle-of-man.com), retrieved 1 August 2010  This webpage cited Newton, John (1885), The Manx Sword of State, Proceedings of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Liverpool (Literary and Philosophical Society of Liverpool) 39 
  7. ^ a b c d e Kinvig, R.H. (1975), The Isle of Man: A social, cultural and political history, Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle, pp. 91–92, ISBN 0-8048-1165-2 
  8. ^ Sword of State, (www.isle-of-man.com), retrieved 31 July 2010  This webpage cited Blair, Claude (2003), The Manx Sword of State, Proceedings of the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society (Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society) 11 (2)