Painting of Mayoral Chain
Circa 1901 See full details
Cities adopted coats of arms to give themselves a unique sense of identity. Each comprised traditional heraldic elements: arms (inside the shield), crest (above the shield), supporters (beside the shield), and motto. In New Zealand, the imagery often combined British and local elements. The central pendant of the Mayoral chains portrays Wellington City’s coat of arms which was adopted in 1878. The shield combines the arms of the Duke of Wellington (the gold cross and five silver discs) and local elements: the fleece and sheaf representing regional agriculture, and the lymphad (ship) symbolising the first colonising ships. The dolphin in the crest symbolises Wellington’s status as a maritime city. The supporters are a British lion and a native moa. The motto – ‘Suprema a situ’ – means supreme by position.
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