Early coats of arms were probably just a way to identify fighters during a
battle. When soldiers wore heavy helmets, covering their faces, it became
necessary for them to paint simple designs on their shields so that they
could be recognised.
The official description of the Kirriemuir Coat of Arms uses this
picturesque language of heraldry.
The arms are; argent, a man’s heart Gules, ensigned with an imperial
crown proper; on a chief Vert, three mullets of the field. Above the
Shield is placed a Burghal coronet and in an Escrol under the shield this
motto ‘Jamais Arriere’.
In everyday language this means that there is a shield with a silver
background on which is a red heart, crowned with an imperial styled crown.
The top section of the shield has a green background with three white
stars. On top of the shield is what looks like the parapet of a castle -
this is the burghal crown and beneath the shield is the motto, translating
as ‘Never Behind’.
Where does this image come from? The heart refers to the expedition by
Lord James of Douglas to the Holy Land with the heart of King Robert the
Bruce. The Kirriemuir coat of arms is based on that of the Douglas family
who allowed the burgh to adopt it.
Kirriemuir’s coat of arms was adopted in 1892 but wasn’t
matriculated and recognised by Lord Lyon until 1930.
Note: I have yet to find a copy of the coat of arms.
If anyone can contribute by finding
one for me, I would be most grateful.
See also the
Angus coat of arms
Below is the Angus flag, which proved unpopular
when it was flown from the Kirriemuir library flagpole - it was stolen!