Rothschild family Arms
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The Rothschild family take their name from the house they occupied in the Judengasse in Frankfurt -'zum Roten Schild' (house of the Red Shield). The origins of the family coat of arms can be traced back to 1817, and the family motto, 'Concordia, Integritas, Industria' [Harmony, Integrity, Industry] to 1822.
Patent for the first Rothschild coat of arms, 1817
The title of nobility granted to the Rothschilds by Austria permitted the use of the 'von' in the name and stems from an Order in Council of Francis I of 21 October 1816.
English grant of arms, 1818
The grant to Nathan and his heirs, and also to his brothers and their heirs, refers to Nathan's brothers as 'de' Rothschild.
Austrian Barony granted by Imperial Decree, 1822
In 1822, Emperor Francis I of Austria made the five Rothschild brothers Barons of the Austrian Empire. A coat of arms was adopted that is still used by the family today, featuring the famous five arrows emblem, symbolic of the brothers' unity, along with the red shield, from which the family derives its name. The arms were complemented by the motto 'Concordia, Integritas, Industria'.
Armorial Bearings (corporate) 1962, 1988 and 1990
Corporate Arms (based on versions of the Rothschild family Arms) were granted to N M Rothschild & Sons in 1962 and to N M Rothschild & Sons Limited in 1988, and revised again in 1990.
English and French family versions of the arms
Depictions of versions of the family arms will be found in The London banking house: Secretary's Department: Armorial Bearings (corporate). A printers' plate of the English Rothschild coat of arms will be found in 000/2255. Folders containing artwork, graphics and glass plates of the Rothschild coats of arms will be found in 000/644, The Ashton Wold Collection.
The five arrows remain an enduring symbol of the Rothschild name. Many members of the family began to adopt the motif of the five arrows. Letterheads survive from the mid-19th century which show that some individuals preferred to see the arrows pointing upwards, in spite of the official description of the arrows approved by the Austrian heralds of arms. Although this was purely a matter of personal choice, a cross-channel split of opinion began to develop. The French family and French banking house gradually adopted 'arrows up' for all uses of the symbol, while the English remained faithful to the 'arrows down' version. Depictions of the arms used by the French family will be found in 000/2089, The rue de Courcelles collection.