Cardiff Coat of Arms

Information taken from:


ARMS: Argent on a Mount Vert a Dragon rampant Gules supporting in front of a Leek issuing from the Mount a Flag Staff erect proper flying therefrom to the sinister a Banner of the third charged with three Chevronels of the first.
CREST: A Tudor Rose on three Ostrich Feathers Argent issuing out of a Mural Crown proper; Mantled Gules doubled Argent.
SUPPORTERS: On the dexter side a Goat and on the sinister side a Sea Horse both proper as an Honourable Augmentation Her Majesty’s Royal Badge for Wales, videlicet within a circular Riband Argent fimbriated Or bearing the motto Y DDRAIG GOCH DDYRY CYCHWYN in letters Vert and ensigned with a representation of the Crown proper an Escutcheon per fess Argent and Vert and thereon a Red Dragon passant pendent by a Golden Chain from the neck of each supporter.

Motto(above the crest) ‘DEFFRO MAE’N DDYDD’ – Awake! It is day.
Motto(below the shield) ‘Y DDRAIG GOCH DDYRY CYCHWYN’ – The Red Dragon shall lead.
Arms granted 26th August 1906. Crest granted by Royal Warrant 6th October 1906, exemplified 15th February 1907. Supporters granted 25th February 1907, and augmented by Royal Warrant 19th October 1956, exemplified 23rd October 1956.

The red dragon is the well-known emblem of Wales it holds a standard bearing the arms attributed to Iestyn ap Gwrgant, the last Prince of Glamorgan. The banner also links to the arms used by Cardiff before it obtained its grant, namely the three red chevrons on gold of the Clare Lords of Glamorgan. Thus the Welsh and Norman history of the City is suggested. The leek is, of course, the floral emblem ofWales, and the traditional origin of the leek as a Welsh emblem is the battle of Poictiers. According to Fluellen in Shakespeare’s Henry V ‘the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps.’ An alternative theory is that the true Welsh emblem is not the vegetable leek, but ‘St Peter’s Leek’ – the daffodil.
The ostrich feathers are the famous badge of the Princes of Wales, and their use was specially authorized by Royal Warrant. The Tudor rose is taken from an old Corporation seal and the mural crown is a symbol of civic government.
The goat represents the mountains of Glamorgan, and the sea-horse stands for the Severn Sea and the port, whereby their mineral wealth is distributed to the world.
The complete achievement depicts the status of the City and County of Cardiff as the Capital City of Wales and its commercial position linking the mountains with the sea. The crest and the Royal Badges on the supporters show the special Royal favours to the City as well as its fealty to the Crown.