The heraldic shield was in use by the late 17th century. Its heraldic description is' Or, a cross square pierced ermine, five chevronells, gules' The Supporters on either side are a later addition and a privilege granted by the College of Heralds only to royalty and very ancient families and corporations. On the dexter (right side, looking from behind) is St Chad, one of the patron saints of the Cathedral; on the sinister side is a robed master of St Mary's Guild. The motto "Salve, magna parens", meaning 'Hail, great mother' is Samuel Johnson's greeting to Lichfield in his Dictionary, and is a tribute to Lichfield as both his native city and the mother city of the Kingdom of Mercia.
Swords and Maces
Maces were authorised to be carried before the bailiffs by the Charter of 1662. The present maces date from 1664 (Charles II) and 1690 (William and Mary). The right to have a sword carried in procession dates from the Charter of 1686 and was presented to the City in that year by the Recorder, Lord Dartmouth. The sword and maces are carried before the Mayor on all civic processions.
The City Seal
The right to use a common seal was granted by the Charter of 1548. The seal portrays three dismembered bodies, depicting the legend of a massacre of Christians at Lichfield during the Roman occupation. The seal, as remodelled in 1688, is still used by the Council today.
Civic Plate and Insignia
The Mayor's badge and chain were presented by Colonel Dyott in 1873. A matching badge and chain for the Mayoress were presented in 1934 by Thomas Moseley. The Sheriff's badge and chain were presented by S. L. Seckham in 1895. A matching badge and chain for the Sheriff's Lady were presented in 1935 by H. Howe Graham.
The City has a considerable collection of civic silver, including a magnificent Ashmole Cup presented by Elias Ashmole in 1666. The civic sword, 1690 mace, Ashmole Cup, and many other items of civic plate, are displayed in the Treasury Exhibition at Lichfield Heritage Centre.