Most people, including the majority of Brits, think that the ‘City of London’ refers to the whole of central London. Even those that understand that the ‘City’ is a separate location, within Greater London, don’t realise that it is a completely autonomous entity with it’s own flag, crest and Mayor. It even has it’s own government, military and police force.
The City’s coat of arms has been “anciently recorded” since at least 1381. The shield combines the English cross of St George with the sword of Saint Paul. It is supported by two dragons with the motto “Domine Dirige Nos” or “Lord, direct us”.
It governs itself and although the King is the only person who outranks the Lord Mayor in the City, he still has to request the Lord Mayor’s permission to enter. The Lord Mayor then greets the Sovereign at the City limits before presenting them with the Pearl Sword of the City and allowing them entry.
The City of London is the only part of the UK over which parliament has no authority.