When the metropolitan borough was formed it carried on using the unofficial arms adopted by its predecessor, Fulham vestry in 1886. This was a quartered shield, with a depiction of a bridge in the first and fourth quarters. The bridge in the first quarter was the original wooden Putney Bridge, opened in 1729 with its toll houses. Its replacement, the present Putney Bridge, constructed of stone, was shown in the fourth quarter. The new bridge was opened in 1886, when the arms were designed. The second quarter showed crossed swords, from the arms of the Bishop of London. The manor of Fulham was held by the bishop from 691, and his official residence, Fulham Palace, was built in the area. The third quarter was the arms then associated with the county of Middlesex, in which Fulham lay until 1889. The three seaxes on a red field was also regarded as the arms of Essex.
In 1927 councillor F. H. Barber, proprietor of Barber's Department Store in the borough, offered to pay the costs of a grant of arms and new civic regalia. Accordingly, an official grant was obtained from the College of Arms on October 12 of that year, blazoned as follows:
The crest rose from a gold mural crown, resembling a city wall, and thus municipal government. The crest itself was a black ship, recalling an expedition to Fulham by the Danes in 879. The main sail was charged with a Tudor rose, recalling the importance of the area in that era, when Fulham Palace was rebuilt.
The Latin motto, Pro Civibus Et Civitate, was translated as "for citizens and state".