Thursday, February 19, 2009

More Texas “Heraldry”

While traveling about west Texas (I don’t remember why. We must have had a good reason. You just don’t drive that far from Dallas – about 350 miles – without having a good reason to do so!), we ran across what I have long considered to be a great piece of faux heraldry there. I say "faux heraldry" deliberately, because while the whole thing may be placed on a shield shape, it’s not really a coat of arms.

What it is, however, is the logo, if you will, of the House of Hair, located at 2803 Slide Road in Lubbock, Texas. We drove past it, my wife noticed it, and we turned around and went back so that I could take a picture of it, because, well, I "needed" to. Just like I "need" to take photographs of heraldry wherever we go, whether it’s here in the U.S., or Canada, or Europe. Come by my house sometime, and I’ll be more than happy to bore you to tears with literally hundreds of photographs of coats of arms, and some other faux coats of arms, that I’ve taken over the years!

Anyway, the House of Hair is a salon which caters to both men and women, and I thought that their logo, which could perhaps be blazoned as Azure, an open pair of scissors bendwise sinister, its round handles forming the symbols for woman and man argent, was just too good not to get a picture of.* It meets most of the requirements of early heraldry – good contrast, simple outline, recognizability. It doesn’t meet the "ten word blazon test", a rule of thumb devised by a friend of mine, who believes that most really good heraldry can be blazoned in ten words or less. (Not surprisingly, he really likes Brittany, which is blazoned simply Ermine, and of course, d’Albret, Gules, at least before the augmentation of the French Royal arms was added.) Still, as a modern conceit, it has, I believe, a certain charm to it. And it certainly serves the basic purpose of heraldry, that of identification. Once you see this logo, you pretty much know what you need to about the firm which occupies the building on which it is painted.

So, how’s that for a bit of Texas "heraldry"?

* I lately lost a preposition:
It hid, I thought, beneath my chair.
And angrily I cried: "Perdition!
Up from out of in under there!"

Correctness is my vade mecum,
And straggling phrases I abhor;
And yet I wondered: "What should he come
Up from out of in under for?"

Morris Bishop

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