The arms were officially granted on February 28, 1946 to the Herefordshire County Council and re-adopted in 1998 by the new County of Herefordshire District Council.
The red background is taken form the arms of the City of Hereford and also represents the red earth of Herefordshire. The silver lion is from the arms of the City of Hereford, and in base is a Herefordshire Bull’s head. The silver and blue wave represents the River Wye.
The crest is based on the arms of the Borough of Leominster, which feature a rampant lion holding a lamb and is a reference to the importance of agriculture to the county.
The gold Lion is that of England, differenced by a garland of hops around his neck. The talbot is taken from the arms of the Talbot family, Marcher Lords of Shrewsbury and Viscounts of Hereford. For difference he wears a gold collar charged with apples, an important product of the county.
The arms were recorded (without bordure) at the Visitations of 1569 and 1634, augmented with crest and supporters on September 14, 1645.
Hereford bore on an early seal the Royal Arms of Richard I, who gave the City its first Royal Charter in 1189. It seems to have coloured the lions silver for the purpose of creating a distinctive (but unauthorized) coat of arms. The entire remainder of the design dates from 1645.
The City of Hereford supported the King during the civil war at the time and was garrisoned by Royalist troops. The garrison was very small and a large force of Scottish troops under the command of Leslie, Earl of Leven, arrived in Hereford. However, the citizens of Hereford joined with the soldiers and did the duties of soldiers so nobly that they kept the Cromwellian troops at bay for approximately five weeks. At the end of five weeks, the Scots gave up trying to capture the City and left. Leaving the Royal Standard flying in triumph over the City. King Charles I, on hearing of this was delighted and full of praise for the citizens of Hereford. He visited the City in order to thank them personally for their success. He dined one night at the Bishop’s Palace and at the end of this dinner he is alleged to have made the Grant of Arms, which has resulted in the Coat of Arms, which the City of Hereford now possesses.
The lions surrounded by saltires, or St Andrew’s Crosses, represent the Royalist forces hemmed in by the insurgent Scots, and the buckles on the collars of the supporting lions are from the arms of the Earl of Leven.
The lion and sword of the crest signify loyalty to and defense of the Crown, and is rare in civic heraldry. Of even greater rarity is the barred peer’s helm supporting the crest found only in the arms of one other municipal authority in England – The City of London. King Charles I also gave the motto.
Herefordshire Hereford Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: An apple-tree. SUCCESS TO THE CIDER TRADE. HEREFORD HALFPENNY, C: HONIATTS
Reverse: Figure of Justice, FOR CHANGE NOT FRAUD. Ex : 1794
Engraver—ARNOLD. Manufacturer—LUTWYCHE. Proprietor—C. HONIATT.