The below details the meaning behind two of Maitland's civic symbols, the Coat of Arms and City Flag.
Explanation of the City's Coat of Arms
The main portion of the Shield (the wavy blue lines within which is a Hunter's Bow) represents the Hunter River which bisects the City, the shield rests on the brown soil of the agricultural land surrounding the City. The sheaves of wheat indicate agriculture, the bee industry, and the open books around the border represent the Schools and Colleges of the City, and the conception of wealth is provided by the golden borders. The supporters of the shield comprise two egrets allusive to the birds of the low lands surrounding the City and they are gorged with a golden mural crown which indicates the status of a City. The supporters hold shuttles in the beaks representing the City's main industry, textiles.
The crest consists of a cedar tree growing on a green hill representing the area before settlement, a mitre in front alluding to the Diocese of Maitland on a mural crown in gold - this emblem being used to indicate the dignity of a City.
The motto 'Justitia et Fortitudo lnvincibilia Sunt' may be broadly interpreted 'Justice and Fortitude are Invincible' and symbolises the spirit of the community in rising above adversity and the fostering of progress.
History of how Maitland received it's Coat of Arms
Some two years prior to the celebration of the Centenary of Local Government in the Maitland Area, which was due in 1963, the Council considered what action should be taken to have a really permanent memento of the Centenary Year and the Town Clerk was asked for suggestions.
The Town Clerk submitted only one suggestion, that of an Official Coat of Arms (or Armorial Bearing) for the City. Prior to making this suggestion, the Town Clerk contacted the President of the Maitland Lions Club, Mr Amos Smith, and explained to him that the cost of the Coat of Arms would be about £300 and this would be an excellent contribution by the Maitland Lions Club to the City of Maitland.
The Club accepted the opportunity with enthusiasm, offering to meet the full cost. When the proposal was reported to Council this offer was accepted with equal enthusiasm and after many months of negotiations with the College of Heralds in London, the Coat of Arms was finally agreed upon and ultimately prepared and received in Maitland.
The next President of the Maitland Lions Club, Mr Ken Mehan (1962/63) offered to make the beautiful cedar and glass case in which the coat of arms is housed in the Council Chamber. The ceremony of presentation of the document was performed at the opening function of the Centenary Celebrations at an official reception in the Town Hall in August 1963. The next President, Mr Neville Elphick (1963/64) duly presented the Maitland Lions Club gift to the City of Maitland to His Worship the Mayor, Alderman H .T. Skilton, with due ceremony and decorum and afterwards the Coat of Arms in its cedar and glass box was fitted to the wall of the Council Chambers.
It may be added that the basic concept and design of the Coat of Arms was the work of a Maitland citizen, an artist in her own right, the late Mrs Cecily Mitchell.
The city flag uses the city Coat of Arms as the dominant feature on a white background. A city’s Coat of Arms is an enduring element in civic life and typically is the focus of a city’s flag.
In the design, just as the river is the heart of the City of Maitland, so too does it run strongly through the heart of the flag. The colour and shape of the river is a homage to the river element contained within the Coat of Arms itself. The words City of Maitland mirror the font of the motto within the Coat of Arms. The flag design has been developed to be simple and classic, ensuring it will remain relevant and endure over time.