Coat of arms of Northern Ireland

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Coat of arms of Northern Ireland
Coat of Arms of Northern Ireland.svg
Details
Armiger Government of Northern Ireland (no longer in existence)
Adopted 1924
Escutcheon Argent a cross gules, overall on a six pointed star of the field ensigned by an Imperial crown proper a dexter hand couped at the wrist of the second.
Supporters Dexter a lion gules armed langued and collared or, supporting a flagstaff proper, therefrom flowing to the sinister a banner azure, charged with a harp or, stringed argent, surmounted by an imperial crown proper; Sinister an Irish elk proper, collared or, supporting a like staff, therefrom flowing to the dexter a banner or charged with a cross gules.
Compartment On a grassy mount two flax plants each with three flowers on stems proper.
Use The Parliament of Northern Ireland was prorogued in 1972. Since then, the arms are no longer used officially.

The coat of arms of Northern Ireland was granted to the Government of Northern Ireland in 1924.

Following the partition of Ireland in 1920 and the secession of the Irish Free State from the United Kingdom in 1922, Neville Rodwell Wilkinson, Ulster King of Arms, designed the great seal and flag of Northern Ireland in 1923. In January 1924, he held discussions with Northern Irish officials in London regarding the coat of arms. The final design was completed by Wilkinson's deputy Thomas Ulick Sadleir for approval by the Northern Ireland cabinet in April 1924.[1] The artwork was approved and the Royal warrant signed by George V and issued through the Home Office on 2 August 1924 and registered in the Register of Arms in Dublin as follows:

Royal Warrant Government of Northern Ireland
Argent a cross gules, overall on a six pointed star of the field ensigned by an Imperial crown proper a dexter hand couped at the wrist of the second.
Given at our Court of St. James in the 15th year of our reign 2nd August 1924 by His Majesty's command.[2]

This was the same design as the Ulster Banner which had been designed in the previous year.

The supporters were granted in 1925, and consist of a red lion supporting a blue banner bearing a gold harp and crown, and an Irish elk in proper colours, supporting a banner of the arms of the De Burgo Earls of Ulster, the basis for the Flag of Ulster.

The supporters were blazoned as follows:

Dexter a lion gules armed langued and collared or, supporting a flagstaff proper, therefrom flowing to the sinister a banner azure, charged with a harp or, stringed argent, surmounted by an imperial crown proper; Sinister an Irish elk proper, collared or, supporting a like staff, therefrom flowing to the dexter a banner or charged with a cross gules.[3]

In 1971, the College of Arms in London added the compartment on which the supporters stand:

On a grassy mount two flax plants each with three flowers on stems proper.[4]

The grant has not been rescinded, but the arms are considered historical, as the body to which the arms were granted no longer exists, and so they cannot be used unless regranted to another armiger. The current Northern Ireland Executive does not use a coat of arms. The banner derived from the arms continues to be used to represent Northern Ireland at some sports events. Use today can be controversial in some parts of Northern Ireland.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Susan Hood, Royal Roots, Republican Inheritance - The Survival of the Office of Arms, Dublin, 2002, p.119 - 120
  2. ^ Genealogical Office, Dublin, Register of Arms 111C (Grants M), 1920 -1929, folio 49
  3. ^ Genealogical Office, Dublin, Register of Arms 111C (Grants M), 1920 -1929, folio 66
  4. ^ Coll Arm Ms 1.83/231, 6 January 1971