I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't design and register people's coats of arms (though I can certainly suggest designs for those who might be interested). What I do is study, research, teach, and write about heraldry. (You can find some of my books about heraldry and a list of my articles and presentations about heraldry at "Our Website" below.) And I like to share what I have learned about heraldry, hence this blog. I hope that you'll find it informative, interesting at least occasionally, and worth your time to come back. Got a question? Comments? Feel free to ask or let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
Disclaimer: I have no relationship with, or financial interest in, this book or its publishers. I just thought it was a really neat new book, and that I should let my readers know about it. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post.
I ran across an announcement the other day about a new book on heraldry: A Celebration Of Scottish Heraldry, compiled by Martin Goldstraw and John Duncan of Sketraw.
This book has been published in celebration of the 340th anniversary of the Lyon King of Arms Act of 1672, and consists of "227 pages containing 82 Letters Patent and over 233 other images, most of which have never been seen by the general public before," and illustrates "the many practical ways in which Scottish Armigers of today enjoy and demonstrate their personal armorial bearings."
At £65.00, plus shipping and packaging, it may not be for everyone, but it looks to be a great celebration of heraldry in general and Scottish heraldry in particular, and certainly ought to be of interest to any student of heraldry and the heraldic arts.
Maltese Falcon, Wings Addorsed and Inverted
9. The Golpes of Wrath
8. Indiana Jones and the Point of Difference
7. Moulin Gules
6. Manos, the Sinister Hand of Fate, Couped
5. C.H.U.D. III - Courageous Heralds Under Duress
4. The Kiss
of the Pursuivant
3. Blazon Saddles
2. Dudley Do-Dexter
1. My Big Fat Herald Wedding
No doubt the wags among us could come up with some
more. (Casa Argent? The Sable Escutcheon of Falworth? Silence of the Paschal Lambs? Please stop me before I pun again!)
And, for some reason, seeing all of these heraldically
fractured (fracted?)* movie titles reminds me of a song line that a friend
of ours came up with a few years ago while we were driving through southern
Louisiana (to the tune of the old song, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” by the Four
“It’s Baton Rouge, not Baton Sinople now….”
Thanks for that, Tim! You didn't think I was really listening, did you?
* “Fracted, broken.
See Fesse, Chevron, and downset (dancetty).” James Parker’s A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry, 1894, p. 275.
There is an overview of the new on-line exhibition
at the Folger Shakespeare Library entitled Symbols
of Honor: Heraldry and Family History, uploaded to the Library’s website in
conjunction with the Symbols of Honor:
Heraldry and Family History in Shakespeare's England, being held at the
Library through October 26 of this year. The links on that page go to separate
sections, the whole forming the on-line exhibition.
The individual sections of this on-line exhibit include:
of the Garter and The Garter King of Arms
a news article from July 8, 2014, in the New York Post comes the news that Bernardo
de Gálvez y Madrid, the Viscount of Gálvez, 1746-1786, has been granted
citizenship by the Congress of the United States of America.
honorary citizenship, anyway.
Viscount “played an integral role in the Revolutionary War and helped secure
the independence of the United States,” says the resolution granting him
citizenship. His troops helped pin down
British forces and block supply efforts, which earned him recognition from Gen.
George Washington and the Continental Congress.
now, the current Congress of the United States has recognized him, too.
citizenship has only been given to seven people, including Winston Churchill
and more prominent Revolutionary heroes like the Marquis de Lafayette and Count
Casimir Pulaski. Gálvez, for whom
Galveston, Texas is named, is the first Spanish speaker to receive this honor.
what does this have to do with heraldry, you ask? As a Viscount, Gálvez was, of course,
armigerous. (Just as the other honorary
Americans named above were.)
does seem to be a little confusion about his coat of arms. While the images above come from a postage
stamp issued by Spain and honoring him, showing a coat of arms, an armorial
portrait of him …
show a much more complex coat of arms.
the difference in these two depictions?
I suspect it’s just that the folks who issued the stamp were trying to
keep it comparatively simple; they did only have so much space available, after all. The portrait, on the other hand, is far more
likely to show his complete coat of arms, including some quarterings with family connections on
now we can add another individual to the ranks of armigerous Americans - Bernardo
de Gálvez y Madrid.
Of course, that's just my opinion, and I could be entirely wrong.
But I don't think so.
The HAC! team of Zitec, a Romanian software/web solutions company, has decided to celebrate the company's 10th anniversary by designing a new coat of arms (which incorporates Zitec's "coat of arms" as a major element). Here's their design, and a brief explanation of each of the charges:
As you can see, they apparently decided to go with the "everything but the kitchen sink" school of heraldry in their design.
And though the elephants are described as "supporters," they look to me like not only are they not supporting the Zitec inescutcheon, they appear to be attacking it and are about to crush it under them.
I'd go into more detail about why this is poor heraldic design, but I probably don't really have to, do I? (The fact that I ran across this image posted on Facebook in the "Heraldry Hall of Shame" group probably says as much or more about it as I can.)
Upon the recent retirement on June 30 of Henry
Paston-Bedingfield (whom I have had the privilege over the years of meeting and
hearing speak a couple of times) as Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, the College
of Arms in London has announced the appointment of Timothy Hugh Stewart Duke to
that office. Mr. Duke was appointed
Rouge Dragon Pursuivant on January 26, 1989, and has been Chester Herald since August
According to the College’s website, there are now
three vacancies among the officers of arms in ordinary: Chester Herald, Rouge
Dragon Pursuivant, and Bluemantle Pursuivant.
I wonder what my chances would be if I expressed an
interest in any of these offices? I
mean, really, traffic and the daily commute couldn’t be much worse in London
than it is here in Dallas, could it? And
the public transportation system is so much better there than here. Hmmm….
As part of my on-going endeavors to keep this blog as a resource for people looking for/looking at heraldry, I ran across a link the other day to a page with a number of artists, some of whom specialize in heraldry, and some to whom heraldry is only a part of what they do.
As a consequence, and after visiting their web pages, I have added a number of individuals from this listing to the Heraldic Artists Websites section here (down the left-hand side of this page). I was happy to see that I had already linked to a good number of these artists; it's nice to know that they are deservedly being recognized by others for the quality of there heraldic work. (Or in other words, it's not just me who thinks they do great work!)
So please feel free to check out the list of links here and visit their web pages to see what wonderful heraldic art these very talented people are turning out.