Town coat of arms back after 42 years

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The town’s coat of arms was reinstated on Tuesday, 42 years after it was discontinued following an Act of Parliament.

Dr Joseph J Morrow QC, Lord Lyon King of Arms, presented the new heraldry to the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council.

Its members had petitioned the Court of the Lord Lyon to have it restored.

The ceremonial presentation at Linlithgow’s Burgh Halls was attended by representatives from local organisations.

The new design incorporates the town’s two original coat of arms – one of the well-known Black Bitch chained to an oak tree on an island in the Loch and the other depicting St Michael slaying a dragon.

It was also agreed the most appropriate motto is “St Michael is Kinde to Straingers” which is the motto on St Michael’s well.

The work was funded by the Linlithgow Common Good Fund and a grant from Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Town Management Group.

Linlithgow’s coat of arms was originally granted in the 17th century, 500 years after it was created a royal burgh. However, in 1975 the Scottish Royal Burghs were abolished by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and official recognition of the town council’s coat of arms was discontinued.

Martin Crook, chairperson of the community council, said: “The evening was a great success. It was kicked off by three representatives from the Linlithgow Reed Band playing a trumpet fanfare as the Lord Lyon was escorted into the room.

“This was followed by a short welcome from Tom Kerr, Provost of West Lothian Council.

“Tom warmed the room up nicely with a few typically humorous and well judged words, which were followed by a very entertaining speech from the Lord Lyon.”