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The arms were officially recognised by the College of Arms in 1614, but it is not known how long they had been in use. They depict a rough, wooden cross in green, rising out of the base of a red shield, between two open crowns of gold with a similar crown round the lower limb of the cross.

The crest takes the form of a walled castle with three towers, all in their natural colours, standing upon a wreath of red and gold. The right-hand tower bears a silver crescent and the left hand one a golden star. In heraldry right and left are decided by the position of the bearer of the arms, not the onlooker.

Granted as a crest in 1898, it incorporates the design of the present City of Nottingham Seal which has been used as a borough seal since the 15th century, but in the seal the crescent moon and star are shown as above the towers, not on them.

The supporters of the shield are two royal stags, looking outwards and standing on rough, broken branches. Each stag wears an open golden crown round its neck.

When granted in 1898, the supporters were originally two foresters, but as these were considered unsatisfactory; they were changed to two stags in 1908. The motto; Vivit post funera virtus means Virtue survives death or Virtue outlives death.

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