The Arms of the County, as granted by the Chief Herald to the Council in 1976, are derived as follows:-
“Vert a besant charged with a Dexter Hand aversant coupled at the wrist proper”
This is the description of the lower part of the shield which is coloured green (vert) and on which is imposed a heraldic expression of the Dextera Dei or Right Hand of God from Muireadach’s Cross at Monasterboice. As on the latter, the armorial design shows the hand against a circular background or nimbus. This section of the Arms represents in particular the rural (or County Health District) part of the County.
Chief Sable, two ancient ships, sails set argent
The top part of the Arms is black in colour commemorating Muirthemne, the old Irish name of the sea off the County Louth Coast, and which translated into English means the “darkness of the sea”. The ships are inspired by the Coat of Arms of the Borough of Drogheda, which includes a ship anchored at a quayside. Each ship can be taken to represent respectively the Borough of Drogheda and the Urban District of Dundalk, both areas comprised within the administrative County. The ships are also representational of the fact that the County has always been a great centre of trade and commerce.
The Crest incorporates a sword, the symbol of administration, surrounded by ears of barley. This design at once illustrates the nature of the Coat of Arms as a symbol of a civic administration, and the importance of agriculture in the life of the County.
The motto commemorates the attribute of the Old Celtic God Lug, who was Saimhildanach or Master of all the Arts. It seems appropriate that a similar attribution should be incorporated into the motto of the County.