Ossett's badge is not a proper coat-of-arms as it has neither a crest nor supporters and is not on a shield. The various elements represent the town's principal industries of coal mining (colliery), textiles (factories) and agriculture (wheatsheaf).
The sheep also stands for the textile industry as the making of woollen cloth and the manufacturing of reclaimed wool ('mungo' and 'shoddy') were the town's staple trade. The motto, roughly translated means "useless things made useful by art".
From 1871 the township was administered by a Local Board elected by the ratepayers, but in 1890 Ossett was granted a borough charter.
The arrival of the charter, on 16 August 1890 was greeted with festivities. The day was declared a public holiday and the town centre was festooned with flags, bunting and balloons. A grand procession accompanied the charter from Ossett railway station to the Market Place. There was a fete and a tea for the schoolchildren. The day ended with a military tournament and a firework display.