Saturday, June 7, 2008

City Coat-of-Arms: Fluctuat nec mergitur

Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur
Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink.

This phrase is the motto of Paris, and is present in the city coat of arms, depicting a ship floating on a rough sea. Both motto and city coat of arms have their origins in the Seine River boatsman’s confederation; this powerful guild ruled the city's trade and commerce as far back as Roman times. Although this corporation became an entity resembling more a municipal government than a trade organization, they maintained their original coat of arms and motto; for this reason the Mairie de Paris (Paris City Hall) bears them still today.
This image is seen as a decorative element on many historic buildings in Paris.

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