Monday, November 30, 2015

One Man's Opinion About Heraldry

David Tang runs an op-ed advice column on The Financial Times, and a recent (November 27, 2015) column had the following, which lets us know pretty much what Mr. Tang thinks about heraldry and coats of arms:

I have recently been awarded an honour for political services. I am told I can now apply to the College of Arms for a coat of arms. The King of Arms says this must include allusions and references to my life and achievements. My entire career has been in mergers and acquisitions, some of which worked and others which didn't. What do you suggest?

In modern life, when will you use your coat of arms? On your signet ring? A bit Sloaney, don't you think? For a seal in wax? "Shurely shome mishtake"! When you are a banker turned politician, I should keep piano about your honour, as there is a presumption of greed among bankers and disingenuousness among politicians. You will more likely become a symbol of contempt than admiration. Besides, it costs £8,000 to register a new coat of arms. That in itself should be sufficient reason for someone who is proud of their honour not to spend such an exorbitant sum to flaunt it.

His views are clearly different from my own on the topic. but I thought it worth sharing with you just to get another point of view on the topic.

To read Mr. Tang's opinion on this, and other topics (for example, eating sandwiches in public), please feel free to drop by the website of The Financial Times at

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Scottish Football and Heraldry, a Bit of Humor

Apropos of the recent articles about the controversy over Ayr United F.C. having to change its logo because of Scotland's heraldic laws, here's a cartoon from last April ( when the Airdrieonians F.C. were facing the same thing:

You know, under Scottish heraldic law, this could - in theory - happen! The Procurator Fiscal to Lyon Court has the authority to erase unwarranted arms, to "dash them furth of" stained glass windows, and to break unwarranted seals, or to seize movable goods and gear where unwarranted arms are found.

And that's how you enforce the laws of heraldry, by golly! At least in Scotland.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Scottish Football and Heraldry, continued

There were a couple of stories over the weekend about the continuing conflict of the logos of a number of Scottish football ("soccer" in American English; Britain and the United States; "two countries divided by a common language" (attributed to both Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw)) and Scottish heraldic law as enforced by the Office of the Lord Lyon King of Arms.

Naturally, you get the folks who think that "the law is unnecessary,"  and others on the other side who state that "Scotland probably has the best heraldry in the world ... I think that it is something that is worth preserving."

Ayr United, which has received a letter from the Procurator Fiscal, the enforcement arm of the Court of the Lord Lyon, is looking for local help in designing a new logo that will not infringe on the national symbols of Scotland (as the current logo, with the white saltire on the blue field, plainly does).

More information about this ongoing controversy can be found at BBC Sports at , The Daily Record at, and Who Ate All The Pies (and isn't that a great name for sports blog) at

Well, you know, just because a law is some 350 years old doesn't mean you can, or should, ignore it.

Though I have to admit, the fact that a fan of a rival football team turned Ayr United in to the Procurator Fiscal seems a bit petty. (It does make me wonder, of which team is that person a fan, and what does that team's logo look like?)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

And Now For Something Completely Different

Or, more strictly speaking, Australia's coat of arms' supporters on their day off. This is what they look like when they're at work:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Today, We Mourn With Paris

I do not have the words: Today we mourn for those who died, and we weep for the injured, in the City of Light, Paris.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Article About Oxford University Heraldry

I ran across an interesting article by John Tepper Marlin entitled "What's your blazon?" about the history of the coats of arms of Oxford University and a number of its constituent colleges.  Nicely illustrated, it's well worth a look by the heraldry enthusiast, particularly those with an interest in academic heraldry.

(This image is not from the article, but is an scan of an old postcard with the arms of the University and its colleges.)

You can find a .pdf of the article from Oxford Today at

Monday, November 9, 2015

A New Heraldry Meme

Saw this new meme* the other day on Facebook, and felt that I just had to share.  Enjoy!

* Meme: "A
n element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation. A
humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users."