The Arms of Cork City were offically registered by the Chief Herald on 23rd August 1949 and are described as follows: "Órdha ar thonntracha mara long trí-chrann fá lántseol dualdaite idir dhá thúr dhearg ar charraigeacha dualdaite ar gach túr bratach airgid maisithe le sailtír dheirg" Leis an Rosc "Statio Bene Fide Carinis."
“Or, on waves of the sea a ship three masts in full sail proper between two towers gules upon rocks also proper each tower surmounted by a flag argent charged with a saltire of the third" with the Motto "Statio Bene Fide Carinis.”
The flags in the modern Arms have the red x-shaped cross of St.Patrick. The ship and towers motif is of ancient origin, and examples survive from the 17th Century. It is possible that the Coat of Arms was originally derived from the ancient Common Seal of the City.
It is popularly thought that the towers represent the King’s and Queen’s Castles of the original harbour of Cork, which was situated in the present day Castle Street area.
The motto ‘Statio Bene Fide Carinis’ ‘A Safe Harbour for Ships’ is a later addition, and is an adaptation of a line from Virgil’s Aeneas.
Fine variations of the Arms can be viewed at the old Coal Quay market, Grand Parade Market entrance, and Cork Public Museum.
Right: The ancient Common Seal of Cork Corporation (Cork City Archives)