Thursday, October 6, 2011

Heraldry in Raleigh, North Carolina

This has been a traveling year for us! And, once again, wherever we’ve gone, we’ve seen heraldry. Some good, some bad, some real, some only heraldry-like.

In the course of one recent trip, we were able to spend a morning in Raleigh, North Carolina, and strolled about the grounds of the capitol building there. And, sure enough, there were coats of arms to be seen there!  (I know you're shocked.  Oh, wait, no you aren't!  And neither was I.)

This first one is from across the street from the capitol, on the building of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, carved over the main entrance.

As you can see, it’s an amazing conglomeration of agricultural symbols: in chief, naturally enough, we have some tobacco leaves, as the premier crop in the state. But there are also a hanging balance, a plow in base, and an I’m not sure what in the center (I don’t find a description of it even at the NC Department of Agriculture website, but it almost has to be some kind of agricultural tool), flanked by ears of wheat (to dexter) and ears of corn (maize) (to sinister). Below the plow are the words “Founded 1877" and below that three cotton bolls. Here’s a color version in the form of a seal rather than on a shield from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture website.

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