Dublin's Coat of Arms is the identifying emblem of the city and has been in use, in one form or another, for at least 400 years. The full Coat of Arms shows three burning castles on a shield, flanked by two female figures
One of the female figures holds a scale and depicts Justice (without the usual blindfold), the other has a sword representing Law, while each holds an olive branch. Below the shield on a scroll is the city's motto, Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas, which translates as "the obedience of the citizens produces a happy city".
The origin of the Coat of Arms is unknown, but there are numerous theories, including:
The castles are watch towers outside the city walls.
The castle is Dublin Castle and is repeated three times because of the mystical significance of the number three.
The castles are not castles but represent three gates into the ancient Viking city.