Monday, August 29, 2011

England Gets a New Coat of Arms

Well, to be totally open, it’s not the country of England, but the American trucking firm C.R. England Global Transportation.

I was driving down the highway when I passed one of England’s tractor-trailer rigs, and noticed that the logo on it wasn’t the one I had been used to seeing on their trucks. That one can be seen in this picture here, taken some years ago for a presentation on the use of heraldry in the United States.

Normally, I would have gotten a photograph of the new one, but as I was by myself driving down the freeway at 70 miles per hour, I figured that grabbing the camera off the floor, whipping it out and photographing the truck would fall under the category of “Being Stupid”, so I didn’t. (I will sacrifice a lot for heraldry, but I do have to draw the line somewhere, and high speed potentially fatal accidents are well over that line.) But ever the intrepid heraldic investigator, I went out onto the internet and tracked down an illustration of their new logo.
As you can see, it settles the old question of whether the field was supposed to be azure (blue) or whether it was hatched for gules (red) but the vertical lines to note that had been done in blue. They’ve also adopted a more traditional, less Fox-Davies’-like lion, and changed the posture of the lions slightly, from passant to passant guardant, making them in all ways look more like the lions on the arms of England (the country).

They’ve also added a thin gold outline to the shield (it really can’t be called a bordure), and some more blue into the mantling, not to mention changing the torse above the helm from azure and gules to argent/gray and gules. The helm has become slightly more stylized, and added some epaulets, so that it’s less like a helmet than it is an armored bust.

Overall, I suppose, it’s a bit of an improvement over their old logo, but it seems to me that they could have done even better with it than they did. Still, it’s heraldry of a sort, and I have to applaud anyone who is actively using heraldic display as a part of their “branding” or identity.


  1. I'm not agree with you when you said that it really can't be called a bordure. The problem is that in English you don't have a word to describe this ordinary.

    In Spanish this is a FILIERA, in French is a FILIÈRE, in German is a SAUM, in Catalan is a FILIERA, in Italian is a FILIERA, but in English, the dictionaries traduces it as a BORDURE, but we know that a bordure has others dimensions.

  2. It is also called, in Dutch, a "smalle zoom." Parker's "A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry" (under "Bordure") states that: "The bordure has no diminutive" (at least in English heraldry), but frankly, I see no reason that a bordure much narrower than normal could not be termed a "bordurelet" in the same fashion that a bend which is narrower than normal is termed a "bendlet." On the other hand, I also think that defining the specific width of a charge like a bend or a bordure by giving it a different name ("All right, class, set your callipers for 'scarpe.'") starts to take away from the earlier, simpler usage of heraldry, where something was simply called a bend or a bordure and the exact width was left to the artist.

    Then, too, what we're really talking about in this specific instance isn't really heraldry, but the heraldic-like logo of a trucking company, whose real interest is in promoting a brand name and not in coats of arms and their design.