Well us British are into our history and it seems that just about every town in Hertfordshire (the County where I live ) has a coat of arms. I suppose its very useful for making your headed note paper look official, but I am not sure that the general public in this day and age would have any idea what it was about apart from sometimes looking pretty.
On looking into our towns coat of arms, I have found out what the various 'bits' mean, so here is the official description of the Coat of Arms, this enables it to be drawn by someone who has never seen the crest providing they understand the terms mentioned!!
ARMS: Or a Fess wavy between in chief a Bar wavy Azure surmounted of two Willow Trees couped and in base an Oak Tree couped fructed proper.CREST: On a Wreath of the Colours within a Circlet of eight Roses Gules each charged with another Argent barbed and seeded proper a Garb Or between two Wings displayed Azure.SUPPORTERS: On either side a Hart Royal proper that on the dexter charged on the shoulder with two Pairs of Dividers in fess inverted and extended the interior points contiguous Argent and that on the sinister with a representation of a Roman Wine Jar Or within a Cage Sable.BADGE: On a Bezant environed of a Torse Or and Azure two Pallets Azure surmounted of a Bar dancetty of two points downward counter-changed.
Motto 'BY WISDOM AND DESIGN'.Granted 11th February 1976.
There, that was fully understandable wasn't it????
The more interesting bit though is how the various 'parts' were included in the design and what they represent.
The blue wave on a gold background represents the River Lea, with the narrower parallel wave for the River Mimram. The two willows from the crest of the Welwyn Garden City UDC and the device of the Welwyn RDC are in reference to the origin of the name Welwyn - meaning 'willow'. The oak tree is from from the crest of the Hatfield RDC. The shield thus suggests in a simple visual pattern the River Mimram flowing through Welwyn and Welwyn Garden City, and the Hatfield area south of the River Lea.The eight Tudor roses (five visible), from the arms of the Hatfield RDC, refer to the many associations of that period with Hatfield Palace, including the sojourn of the young Elizabeth and her presence at Hatfield on learning of her accession. The gold wheatsheaf, represents the agricultural pursuits of the area, flanked by two blue wings alluding to the local aircraft industry. The wheatsheaf is also a feature of the crest of the ancestors of the Cecils of Hatfield, particularly Lord Burghley, Queen Elizabeth's famous minister and father of Robert Cecil, the first of the family to reside at Hatfield.The harts, like those of the County Council, are a reference to Hertfordshire. The two dividers shaped like a letter W are from the arms of the Welwyn Garden City UDC, emphasizing its character as a planned development. The Roman urn from the device of the Welwyn RDC, typifies the historic antiquities of that area.The motto is that used by the Welwyn Garden City UDC.
So there you have it, you can now look on coats of arms with a knowledge you never had before!!