The arms were officially granted on May 25, 1976.
The wavy bend represents the Thames river and its tributaries. The blue background represents Oxford University. The garb and the tree represent the nature and the agricultural character of the county.
The crest shows a ram on a mound. The mound is the mound of Oxford Castle, founded in 1071 and the seat of government for a long time and the modern County Hall is situated on the same location.
The ram is a Oxford Down ram, a local breed of sheep. It symbolises the historical importance of wool trading. The ram wears a collar from the shield.
The red ox supporter is taken from the arms of Oxford city. The white horse is taken from the old arms of the Berkshire County Council, as part of Berkshire, the Vale of White Horse, was transferred to Oxfordshire. Both supporters wear a collar of the shield.
The arms replaced older arms, granted on May 5, 1949.
The arms were officially granted on August 28, 1951.
The shield is based upon the device borne upon the seal, which has been associated with the Borough for many years, namely the figure of the sun linked with the motto in a religious significance. The ermine of the chief commemorates the royal charters granted to the town at various times.
The castle recalls the important part played by Banbury Castle in the Civil War, when two great sieges were laid against it in 1644 and 1646. It is shown with two towers in conventional heraldic style, in allusion to Leland’s description of the castle as having “two wards”. The crossed swords commemorate the Civil War sieges and also an important Roses battle in 1469, and these swords and the castle are all coloured red in keeping with the sanguinary warfare of those days.
The crest itself is simply “a fine lady upon a white horse”, from the well-known rhyme which has made the name of Banbury a part of legend and folklore. She is depicted in Tudor costume in commemoration of Mary Tudor who granted the town a charter.
The red oxen refer to the Oxfordshire CC, whose arms at the time bore the head of a red ox taken from the “ox and ford” of the City of Oxford arms. They also refer to the important agricultural market of Banbury.
Undated Oxfordshire Banbury Rusher Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: A three-quarter face bust. WM.RUSHER HATTER BOOKSELR. & STATIONER . BANBURY.
Reverse: T h e s u n . DEUS . EST . NOBIS . SOL . ET . SCUTUM .
Edge: PAYABLE AT BANBURY OXFORD OR READING.
D&H Oxfordshire No. 1 A. 2