Chairman's Column 2 February 2021
Published on Tuesday, 2nd February 2021
Maldon District Council’s Coat of Arms Explained
“Over the years, several people have asked me about Maldon District Council’s coat of arms. It appears on Councillor’s letters and of course on the Chairman’s Chain of Office, so for further information I turned to its creator, my friend and past Maldon District Council Chairman Robert J.S. Long MBE.
“He told me that with local government reorganisation in 1973 most of the new authorities across the country opted for a symbol of office, but Maldon District with its long history dating back to Saxon times and being a former Royal Borough - needed something special. So, Mr Long, the (then) Council’s Information Officer designed one which the Council and the College of Heraldry in London (which has delegated authority from the Crown) approved of.
“The metal helmet or ‘helm’ is important as it is always shown on all proper Grants of Arms; remember Mediaeval coats of arms were essential in battle to identify who was who! Maybe that’s a forerunner of modern-day football team shirts! Above the helm is a traditional East Coast Sailing Barge recognised as the trading symbol of Maldon on the Blackwater in its heyday and still seen today at Maldon’s Hythe Quay. The golden Fleur de Lys refers to the 1171 Royal Charter granted by King Henry II. The centre shield shows a golden royal Plantagenet Lion which represents the former Royal Borough of Maldon and its Royal Charter (the College of Heraldry allowed only ONE lion as three indicates a Royal Coat of Arms!). The two stooks of corn on a green background reflect the former Maldon Rural District with its strong farming traditions and the golden ship’s wheel signifies the former Urban District of Burnham on Crouch, with its national reputation as one of the finest sailing havens on the East coast. The mantle (flowing ribbon) in green and blue represents land and water over a Saxon warrior and a modern sailor; the former shows the strong Saxon heritage and the latter for the National Maritime heritage of this District and its sailing reputation.
“The words Vision, Courage, Integrity were chosen by Councillors Lister, P.R. Bass, Mrs P. Herrmann and Mrs B. Board. I think they were well chosen, and the crest really does represent our wonderful Maldon District and highlights much of what it has to offer.
“Finally, I would add that previous Maldon Chairmen have mentioned that our crest often draws the attention of other Essex dignitaries at functions…which is nice to know.
“Thanks again for reading this - I hope you found it interesting. Remember to stay safe all of you, and for those of us who haven’t yet received the vaccine, hopefully it won’t be too long! Take care.”
Councillor Mark S. Heard
Chairman of Maldon District Council