From Lowe's Curiosities of Heraldry: “It does not seem to have occured to these allegorizing worthies that the tincture of a charge may be diametrically opposed to the signification assigned to the charge itself. For example, the coat ‘Vert, a bull's head or’ by the armilogical rules cited above, would signify, as to the tinctures, pleasure and joy, while as to the charge it would mean rage and fury. Again, ‘Purpure, a wolf argent’ would mean ‘a wrangler with a peacable disposition!!’”
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.
This time from another educational institution, Harvard University.
When my wife and I spent a week in Massachusetts last year, hunting down family gravesites and the Westford Knight, among other things, we decided to stay in Cambridge, just across the river from Boston. The B&B we stayed at was located just a few blocks from Harvard Yard, and the Yard was a convenience shortcut to the subway. (No, we didn’t see “poor old Charlie”, the “man who never returned” from his trip on the MTA.)
But you know I just had to check out the gift shops around the university to see if I could find a tee shirt with the well-known Harvard coat of arms. In doing so, I managed to find not only a tee shirt, but a gimme cap, as well, as you can see here.
There’s actually a fair bit of heraldry in and around the university, on the buildings, on signs, in windows. It was really nice to see not only the appropriate use of heraldry someplace here in the U.S., but also the number of different coats of arms so used. If you ever get a chance to go to Cambridge, I recommend taking the time to walk about the campus (and especially the walled Harvard Yard) to see the heraldry there.