Saba : fish, spuds and cabbage

The Heraldry of the Americas
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Arthur Radburn
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Saba : fish, spuds and cabbage

Postby Arthur Radburn » 19 Dec 2020, 13:29

Saba.jpg

Something different to look at today : the official arms of the Dutch island of Saba (in the Caribbean). They're rather unusual in featuring vegetables, namely a potato on the shield and cabbage leaves on either side of the shield, rather like mantling.

The arms were adopted by the island authority in 1985, and formally granted by Queen Beatrix in 2010. The image above is the official painting from the Hoge Raad van Adel (the Dutch heraldry authority). The official blazon (freely translated) is : Argent, a mountain Vert the peak encircled by a cloud Argent between in chief dexter a tropical fish Azure and Or and sinister a three-master ship in full sail Gules sails and flags Argent, and in base a potato proper.

The mountain represents the island itself (which is only 5 square miles in area) and is dominated by a dormant volcano. The fish represents Saba's historic fishing industry, the ship the "international renown of Saban seamen", and the potato Saba's "well-known potatoes and excellent climate".

The external ornaments are an Audubon shearwater (a bird found on the island) and six cabbage leaves. The motto means "With oars and sails".

Interestingly, the original (1985) description of the arms described the external ornaments (again freely translated) as "A shield thereabove the well-known local bird Puffinus Lherminieri or 'Audubons Shearwater'". The Hoge Raad van Adel, however, decided to treat the bird as a supporter, and blazoned it thus : The shield supported from behind by an Audubon shearwater proper accompanied on either side by a stalk with three cabbage leaves Vert.
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Arthur Radburn
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Martin Goldstraw
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Re: Saba : fish, spuds and cabbage

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 21 Dec 2020, 13:15

Which just goes to show that just because you're an "Heraldic Authority" doesn't mean that you have good sense.
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Chris Green
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Re: Saba : fish, spuds and cabbage

Postby Chris Green » 21 Dec 2020, 15:17

Martin Goldstraw wrote:Which just goes to show that just because you're an "Heraldic Authority" doesn't mean that you have good sense.


:mrgreen:
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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: Saba : fish, spuds and cabbage

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 21 Dec 2020, 16:51

"We've seen worse..." ;)
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Ton de Witte
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Re: Saba : fish, spuds and cabbage

Postby Ton de Witte » 28 Dec 2020, 20:41

Martin Goldstraw wrote:Which just goes to show that just because you're an "Heraldic Authority" doesn't mean that you have good sense.


Special case, the antilles were an independent part of the kingdom. Aruba split away and then there were 3 parts of the kingdom. Later the islands were given a choice, be independent, become a part of the kingdom or become a special community within the kingdom. Three chose to become a part and three to be special communities.
The special communities were then granted the arms they already had so the Hooge raad had little to do with it, only registering the arms.
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Iain Boyd
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Re: Saba : fish, spuds and cabbage

Postby Iain Boyd » 29 Dec 2020, 20:43

The special communities were then granted the arms they already had so the Hooge raad had little to do with it, only registering the arms.


A pity!


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