Coat of arms of Lisbon

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The Coat of arms of Lisbon is composed of a golden shield with a black silver lined sail ship on a sea of seven wavy stripes green and silver. At both ends of the ship, two ravens, each pointing to the center of the shield. A golden mural crown of five towers (indicating capital and city status respectively) surrounded by the collar of the Order of the Tower and Sword and by a white scroll with the motto "MUI NOBRE E SEMPRE LEAL CIDADE DE LISBOA" (most noble and always loyal city of Lisbon) in black.

The image on the coat of arms commemorates the transfer of the relics of Saint Vincent of Saragossa from Cape St. Vincent to Lisbon. According to legend, after he was martyred, ravens protected St. Vincent's body from being devoured by wild animals, until his followers could recover the body. A shrine was erected over his grave, which continued to be guarded by flocks of ravens. King Afonso Henriques (1139–1185) had the body of the saint exhumed in 1173 and brought it by ship to the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon, still accompanied by the ravens.[1]

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  1. ^ Purcell, Mary (1960). Saint Anthony and His Times. Garden City, New York: Hanover House. pp. 44–45.