IN a ceremony with its roots in medieval royal law, a new coat of arms for Witherby Publishing Group, which is based in Livingston, has been approved.

The 277-year-old company is proudly Scottish and its owners were keen to reflect this with a new logo and a heraldic coat of arms. But Witherbys quickly discovered that the rules of heraldry stretch back even further than their own company.

The Court of the Lord Lyon was established in the 14th century and deals with all matters relating to Scottish heraldry and coats of arms. Witherbys’ coat of arms will now be entered on the heraldic register in Edinburgh as a matter of public record.

Witherbys’ new, Lord Lyon-approved, design reflects both the company’s history in marine publishing and its shipping influence. In particular, the new logo features Scottish blackfaced rams and the historic birlinn, the ancient sailing vessel associated with Scotland’s Western Isles.

Witherby’s CEO Iain Macneil said: “Our business has such an interesting history and we’re proud that hundreds of thousands of books from our West Lothian office are sailing around the world. It’s been a long process, but our company is strongly rooted in Scotland and it was really important to us that we reflected that in the logo. We’re very grateful to the Lord Lyon and his court.”

The Lord Lyon commented: “Witherbys are joining a long list of companies with recorded Coats of Arms.”