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I just found out about this sub and wanted to share the beautiful coats of arms of the two main cities of my French region, Lorraine. I always found it fascinating that one city went for extreme minimalism, and the other one in the complete opposite direction.
Here are the descriptions, to compare:
Metz: Parti d'argent et de sable.
Nancy: D'argent au chardon de pourpre tigé arraché et feuillé de deux pièces de sinople ; au chef aux armes de Lorraine pleines; coupé d'un parti de trois : au I fascé d'argent et de gueules de huit pièces, au II d'azur semé de fleurs de lis d'or brisé en chef d'un lambel de gueules, au III d'argent à la croix potencée d'or et cantonnée de quatre croisettes du même, au IV d'or à quatre pals de gueules, au V d'azur semé de fleurs de lis d'or, à la bordure de gueules, au VI d'azur au lion contourné d'or à la queue fourchue, armé, lampassé et couronné de gueules, au VII d'or au lion de sable, armé et lampassé de gueules, au VIII d'azur semé de croisettes recroisetées au pied fiché d'or, à deux bars adossés du même brochants, sur le tout d'or à la bande de gueules chargée de trois alérions d'argent.
For a bit more context, Metz and Nancy have been rivals since the cities have existed. They're only 60 km apart but they are widely different, mostly because Metz fell under German rule between 1871 and 1914. And just like their respective coats of arms, they're both gorgeous in their own way!
Well in both cases the arms are historical but they underwent different evolutions. The arms of Metz is allegedly canting as the name has consistently been translatable as "half" since it was the capital of the Gaulic Mediomatrici tribe ("Messis"/"Meta") whence the city's name derives from. Worth noting is the atrocity that were the Napoleonic arms - https://heraldry-wiki.com/heraldrywiki/index.php?title=Metz
Nancy on the other hand. Originally the arms were also very simple - just the thistle to symbolise their defence against Burgundian assault in the 15th century - but they were augmented with the chief 1575 to represent their status as the seat of the Dukes of Lorraine. Many European countries have traditions of augumenting arms with the national symbol to reference their connection to the monarch (Babenberg shield in Austria, Bohemian lion in Czechia, Eagle in Germany). In France the tradition usually manifests through the inclusion of a chief with the Bourbon lilies (both the old and new regime), later the Napoleonic bees. I would guess this is a regional variation of the same tradition, using the ducal arms in much the same way as the royal ones are for other cities. Again, worth noting is the variation between the full achievement of many fields and the simple Lorraine arms displayed at different times for the city - https://heraldry-wiki.com/heraldrywiki/index.php?title=Nancy