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The topography is mountainous, especially in the north and west, with a broad valley running centrally through the area from south to north. The coast has numerous small islands. Much of the population resides in coastal areas and along rivers. Aberdeenshire has a rich historic heritage that can be traced back to its founding in 930 AD; it also has an abundance of natural beauty as well as many notable buildings, parks and gardens throughout its entire region (including Aberdeen). It is an important centre for agriculture; livestock such as Highland Cattle are raised here. Aberdeenshire's flag features Saint Andrew's Cross on a blue background within yellow borders: this was adopted by Alexander II when he created his personal coat of arms for use on seals after 1214 together with motto "In Defensione Fidelis". The shield design itself dates from around 1200 AD when seal designs were largely standardised across Scotland (see Clan Badges).