The coat of arms of the City of Glasgow was granted to the royal burgh by the Lord Lyon on 25 October 1866. It incorporates a number of symbols and emblems associated with the life of Glasgow’s patron saint, Mungo (The Dear One, a pet name of St. Kentigern) which had been used on official seals prior to that date. The emblems represent miracles supposed to have been performed by St. Mungo and are listed in the traditional rhyme:
- Here’s the bird that never flew
- Here’s the tree that never grew
- Here’s the bell that never rang
- Here’s the fish that never swam
St. Mungo is also said to have preached a sermon containing the words Lord, Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word and the praising of thy Name. This was abbreviated to “Let Glasgow Flourish” and adopted as the city’s motto.
In 1450, John Stewart, the first Lord Provost of Glasgow, left an endowment so that a “St. Mungo’s Bell” could be made and tolled throughout the city so that the citizens would pray for his soul. A new bell was purchased by the magistrates in 1641 and that bell is still on display in the People’s Palace Museum, near Glasgow Green.
The supporters are two salmon bearing rings, and the crest is a half length figure of Saint Mungo. He wears a bishop’s mitre and liturgical vestments and has his hand raised in “the act of benediction”. The original 1866 grant placed the crest atop a helm, but this was removed in subsequent grants. The current version (1996) has a gold mural crown between the shield and the crest. This form of coronet, resembling an embattled city wall, was allowed to the four area councils with city status.
The arms were re-matriculated by the City of Glasgow District Council on 6 February 1975, and by the present area council on 25 March 1996. The only change made on each occasion was in the type of coronet over the arms.