The arms were officially granted on August 29, 1975.
The arms are a variation on those attributed to the Kingdom of Sussex. The gold crown represents the South Saxons and the red background provides a contrast to the blue background of the similar West Sussex arms.
The arms are based on those granted to the previous East Sussex CC on 10th September 1937.
In 1974 the County Boroughs of Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings were added to the county and part transferred to West Sussex. The white wavy bar was added for difference to reflect the changes, as any change of area or population by 10% meant that the arms of a predecessor meant the arms could no longer be used.
The arms were officially granted on May 18, 1889 and again on January 14, 1975.
Arms were used by counties long before the creation of county councils. Many were devised by the Tudor heralds. Blue and red shields with six golden martlets were already shown representing Sussex in 1611.
West Sussex County Council was in 1889 one of the first county councils to be granted a coat of arms, the cost of which was defrayed by Henry 15th Duke of Norfolk.
In 1974 West Sussex was enlarged by the addition of parts of East Sussex and Surrey. Any changes in population or area of more than 10% meant that the new authority could not use the coat of arms of its predecessor. As a result the enlarged County Council sought a new coat of arms.
A helmet and ornamental scrollwork topped by a crown were taken from the arms of East Sussex together with oak leaves and acorns taken from the arms of Surrey, were added to the original shield to represent the newly acquired areas.
The arms were granted on April 14, 1897 and confirmed in 1972.
The two dolphins have a lengthy history in the town of Brighton, the origin of which can not now easily be traced. The Commissioners of Brighton (the Local Government Body during the first half of the 19th century) used the device of two dolphins in their seal. It is now a matter of speculation whether the dolphins were adopted because of the town’s association with the sea or because they had adopted the emblem of one of the leading families in the town. Both the Scrase family (who were associated with the Manor of Brighton and represented amongst the Commissioners), and the Lashmar family (one of whose members was High Constable in 1799) bore dolphins on their arms.
The blue border with the six martlets is derived from the arms of the County Sussex (see East Sussex and West Sussex).
The crest shows again the two dolphins, together with two branches of coral, a reference to the sea and the local climate.
The motto means “We trust in God”.
1794 Sussex Brighton Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: Bust to right, GEORGE PRINCE OF WALES. The line of the forehead is between the N and C.
Reverse: The Prince of Wales’ crest and motto. HALFPENNY 1794
Edge: BRIGHTON CAMP HALFPENNY MDCCXCIV X . X .
D&H Sussex No: 3a. A. 4a. Diameter 28.8mm
The arms were officially granted on October 22, 1948.
The six martlets or heraldic Swallows on the blue background are the arms attributed to the South Saxons and now form the chief feature of the arms of West Sussex CC. The white wave, represents the flow of the River Arun and the Chichester Canal across the area. The white border carries red drops taken from the arms of the City of Chichester, and thus links the RDC with its namesake.
The seal holding a mitre represents Selsey ” Seal’s Island “, and recalls that Selsey was the first stronghold of Christianity in this part of England, before the bishopric inspired by St. Wilfred was transferred to Chichester. The seal may also be considered as showing that the original site of the cathedral is now submerged, and the mitre also has a reference to the Priory of Boxgrove.
The motto ‘ADHUC HIC HESTERNA’- The things of yesterday are still with us.
1794 Sussex Chichester Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: Three-quarter facing bust of Queen Elizabeth I with crown and sceptre and legend: QUEEN ELIZABETH.
Reverse: View of the old Chichester cross with legend: CHICHESTER HALFPENNY 1794.
Edge: PAYABLE AT DALLYS CHICHESTER X X X X.
Dally and Son were drapers and salesmen with a business in Chichester.
D&H Sussex No: 15. A. 14. Diameter 28.8mm
1794 Sussex Chichester Sharp Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: Bust to left. JOHN HOWARD F.R.S.PHILANTHROPIST. An
elongated dot at end of legend.
Reverse: The sun and moon over a castle. CHICHESTER AND PORTSMOUTH HALFPENNY. Ex: 1794
Edge: PAYABLE AT SHARPS PORTSMOUTH AND CHALDECOTTS CHICHESTER
D&H Sussex No: 20 A. 19
1795 Sussex East Grinstead Boorman Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: The Freemasons’ arms, crest, supporters, and motto. PRO BONO PUBLICO
Reverse: A cypher I H B, a pair of scales above, and the date 1795 below.
EAST GRINSTEAD HALFPENNY
Edge: PAYABLE AT I + H BOORMAN . X .
D&H Sussex No: 22 A. 21
1794 Sussex Frant Ring Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: A cypher G R ; crest, a lamb, FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD.
Reverse: Shield of arms, SUSSEX HALFPENNY TOKEN. The date 1794 upon a label.
Edge: PAYABLE BY G. RING FRANT. + + + +
D&H Sussex No: 23 A. 22
The arms were officially recorded at the visitation in 1634.
The arms are a variation of those of the Cinque Ports, the one complete lion is said to indicate Hasting’s status as the chief port of the group.
1794 Sussex Hastings Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: An old sloop in full sail to the left with legend: “SUCCESS & SAFETY ATTEND THE ENDEAVOUR”.
Reverse: The arms of the town of Hastings consisting of three lions and ships conjoined, above crossed palm and laurel branches with legend: “HASTINGS HALFPENNY 1794″.
Hastings was the “chief” of the Cinque Ports.
D&H Sussex No: 26. A. 24. Diameter 29.9mm
UD Sussex Hastings Neal Shilling
1794 Sussex Northiam Foller Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: Arms between oak branches, FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF SOCIETY *
Reverse: A cypher I F; crest a wheatsheaf. HALFPENNY TOKEN PAYABLE AT . 1794.
Edge: PAYABLE AT IOHN FOLLER NORTHIAM .X.
D&H Sussex No: 34 A. 31
1794 Sussex Northiam Gilbert Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: Arms between palm and oak branches. UNANIMITY IS THE BOND OF SOCIETY
Reverse: A cypher E G; crest a squirrel. NORTHIAM HALFPENNY . 1794
Edge: PAYABLE AT G. GILBERTS NORTHIAM . x . x . x . x . x .
D&H Sussex No: 35 A. 32
1794 Sussex Winchelsea Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: A beehive and bees, INDUSTRY THE SOURCE
Similar to D&H 40, but the quatrefoil at the bottom is much
wider and there are more bees.
Reverse: Shield of arms, WINCHELSEA HALFPENNY . 1794
Edge: PAYABLE AT RICHARD MAPLESDENS WINCHELSEA . X .
D&H Sussex No: 41 A. 38