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Coat of arms of Gavinton, Fogo and Polwarth explained
Gavinton, Fogo and Polwarth coat of arms
Gavinton, Fogo and Polwarth coat of arms

John Marjoribanks explains the meaning of the coat of arms.

The arms are designed both to illustrate our long history and to look to our future.

The golden coronet of pine cones and thistle leaves is the standard one for a Scottish Community Council.

The background is white, like most old family coats of arms belonging to families associated with the area: Cockburn, Trotter, Gavin, Hog, Nisbet, Sinclair and Polwarth. It provides a very clear basis on which to tell our story.


The black saltire is from the arms of David Gavin, who bought the Langton estate from the Cockburns in 1758 and established the village of Gavinton the following year. This reflects the fact that Gavinton is the main centre of the GFPCC area. The saltire also provides a handsome way of subdividing the field.

The blue sword with a red star on the point is from the Gavin arms. It represents the self-made man reaching for the stars.

The red cockerel is from the arms of the Cockburn's of Langton, who held the Langton estate, a large part of the GFPCC area, for four centuries. Nowadays it stands for our 'get up and go' attitude.

The black boar's head with red teeth and tongue is taken from the arms of the family of Trotter of Charterhall, who have been the lairds of Fogo for many centuries. It also shows we are part of the Merse, where the boar's head has been used as a symbol for centuries. It is found, for example, in the nearby arms of Hog, Trotter, Nisbet, Gordon and Swinton.

Growing community

Flag bearing the coat of arms
Flag bearing the coat of arms

The Polwarth Thorn is an ancient hawthorn on what was once the green of the old village of Polwarth. It is widely known locally and has recently been listed in the National Inventory of Trees. For us today, it signifies a growing community with its roots in the soil.

The motto 'By Industry We Prosper' is the same as that of Gavinton's founder, David Gavin. It is carved above the entrance to the former village school in Gavinton and reflects his approach to life in the 18th Century. It is just as appropriate today.

When the arms are flown as a flag, the coronet and motto are not used and the shield is reshaped to a rectangle, with the saltire and the other four symbols filling the whole flag.

Community council coat of arms
11 Dec 09 |  Arts & Culture


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