Symbols of Sussex are flags, icons or cultural expressions that are emblematic, representative or otherwise characteristic of Sussex or Sussex culture. As a rule, these symbols are cultural icons that have emerged from Sussex folklore and tradition, meaning few have any official status. However, most if not all maintain recognition at a county or national level, and some, such as the emblem of Sussex, have been codified in heraldry, and are established, official and recognised symbols of Sussex.
The emblem of Sussex is a heraldic shield symbolising Sussex. The emblem consists of six gold martlets, on a blue field, blazoned as azure, six martlets, three, two and one, or. The first recorded use of the device is in an atlas by John Speed in 1622 to represent the Kingdom of Sussex. The six martlets may represent the traditional six sub-divisions of the county known as rapes. The martlets, or heraldic swallows, may also be a canting reference to the title of the Earls of Arundel, known as Earls of Sussex until the 13th century. The French for swallow is hirondelle, making a pun on the word Arundel.
Also known as Sussex weed, the pendunculate oak (Quercus robur) is strongly associated with Sussex. Sussex oak was thought to be the best timber for shipbuilding be unmatched in durability and strength, qualities drawn from the ferruginous soil on which it grew.
The insignia and shield of a male figure holding a sword across his mouth has represented the diocese of Chichester since the 13th century. The imagery is parallel to that seen in an early 14th century manuscript of the Apocalypse of St John. This illustrates several passages with a figure who variously has a sword across his mouth, holds an open book, and is seated on a throne.
The sport of stoolball is strongly associated with Sussex; it has been referred to as Sussex's 'national' sport and a Sussex game or pastime. The sport's modern rules were codified at Glynde in 1881. Modern stoolball is centred on Sussex where the game was revived in the early 20th century by Major William Grantham.
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