Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lovely Liverpool

Next on the roster of arms are those of the City of Liverpool. In doing my research, I found some interesting facts on Flagspot , to wit:

"It seems that Liverpool has no flag. The arms are a gold liverbird bearing an olive branch in its mouth on an argent field." -- Ensign & Jack #8, Jaume Ollé, 24 Jan. 2001

Photo courtesy of Floyd Smith Sanford, III

I also found this on Flagspot:

"It is a cormorant on the arms of Liverpool. It was inspired by an American flag with a bald eagle on it, and developed with a hint of the famous Liverpool humour. The "liver birds" are Oliver and Olivia - she looking out to sea waiting for her true love to return, he looking into the city to see if the pubs are open!" -- Valerie Sullivan, 16 June 2004

However, here we see only one of the loving pair -- Oliver or Olivia? -- and two images at the top of the shield: the motto "THY WOPD IS TRUTH" (minus a tile or two on the tail of the "p") and a fine sailing ship. Does anyone know where or when these were first used? Or perhaps the artist of #1 Broadway added them.

A bit of background on the Liverpudlian arms, and another illustration:

"Carr, 1961, says 'Liverpool's arms date from 1797, when the heralds, having never heard of Litherland close by, were left to choose between the pool of laver - that is, the seaweed Porphyra - and the pool of the liver, a bird unknown to naturalists; and, failing to find a figure of the imaginary bird, they invented a sort of short-necked cormorant, into whose beak they put a couple of fronds of Porphyra in case it was Liverpool after all.

"This very neat instance of heraldic hedging did not, however, meet with the success it deserved, for the old name was discovered to be Litherpool - that is, the sluggish pool - yet the cormorant and the seaweed remain, for they are in the grant.' Carr therefore suggests that cities may use banners of arms." -- Jarig Bakker, 2 Apr. 2002

So, what do YOU think? Does anyone have any more information?

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I'm the author of ManhattanUnlocked, I think we've talked before. I was getting ready to do a post on the mosaics around 1 Broadway but I see so many bloggers have already covered it pretty well so I'll be shelving for the time being. BUT, in reserching WOPD and it appears to be a great little tongue-in-cheek. "Work Order Prior to Delivery." Thy WOPD is Truth.