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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)

P&O were granted Letters Patent in the Company's 100th year 1937.

The coat of arms includes:

  • The royal colours of Portugal and Spain
  • The oriental rising sun
  • Heraldic figures depicting the countries linked by the P&O mail services
    • Britain
    • India
    • China
    • Australia
  • The Latin motto "Quis nos separatit"

Image 1 below shows the Letters Patent


Image 2 below shows the P&O arms in close up.


The motto originated in the Bible - Romans 8:35 - "Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi ..." translated as "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"

It has been used with a greater or lesser degree of appropriateness by a number of organisations including:

  • The Order of St Patrick
  • The Royal Ulster Rifles
  • The Irish Guards
  • The Ulster Defence Association (a proscribed Northern Ireland paramilitary group)

It also appears on:

  • The coat of arms of Northern Ireland
  • The great seal of Maryland (USA)

The motto also appears on a plaque dedicated to the last voyage of the RMS Morea from Marseilles as in Image 3 below:


  1. Letters Patent: from Stephen Rabson and Kevin O'Donaghue: P&O - A Fleet History
  2. Arms: from David Howarth and Stephen Howarth: The story of P&O
  3. Plaque: from the private collection of SN member Benjidog
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