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.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Goodbye to Heraldry at Vicksburg, Mississippi

Finally, on my way back to the highway to get home (maybe next time I'll be able to go through the Confederate lines looking for heraldry), I passed through the gate of the National Cemetery at Vicksburg, Mississippi, with its three different renditions of the arms of the United States.  Cast in iron, and then gilded. What a great display of national heraldry! (Even if not every rendition is an accurate depiction of Paly of thirteen argent and gules, a chief azure.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Some Heraldry-like Items in Vicksburg, Mississippi

Not all of the “heraldry” I saw during my brief hour in Vicksburg was very heraldic. Here we have a rendition of the seal of the State of Indiana.

It’s not even a terribly good landscape, and is certainly not good heraldry. Here’s a drawn version of it in color that might be easier to make out (and which also makes that galloping bison a lot less prominent).

A similar quasi-heraldic item that I ran across in Vicksburg was the seal of the State of Ohio.

It's another landscape, and is also not good heraldry. Below is a color rendition for comparison.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

You Can Find Heraldry Everywhere!

And sometimes, you don’t even need to leave your house to do it.

In a recent Sunday paper was a catalogue/flyer/insert for a retail company that sells a wide range of items for the house. And on page 4 was the following picture:

It’s a wall clock, 31" (79 cm) in diameter (Wow! That’s a big clock), that has a coat of arms prominently displayed in the center of its face (I’m not at all certain of the tinctures, but it appears to be Lozengy argent and ?, a bend ?). The crest appears to be something like a potted palm. I have no idea what the three crowns below the arms are supposed to mean; the center one with the arches is of a type that is normally reserved for royalty of one kind or another, and the crowns may bear no real relationship to the arms at all.

Still, it just goes to prove the point that I continue to make, that “You can find heraldry everywhere!”  Even delivered to your doorstep.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More Heraldry in Vicksburg, Mississippi

While at Vicksburg National Military Park, I also ran across the arms of the State of Wisconsin, here from a large monument to the troops from that state who participated in the siege of Vicksburg in 1863.

With a flagpole next to it with a color version of the arms.

And here’s another version which I found on the web, that may be easier to make out.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A New Heraldic Tshirt

It’s always interesting to me to see the heraldry, real or made-up, that people come up with. A recent case in point was discovered today at shirt.woot, a website that offers a new tshirt each day, usually at a pretty good price. The offering for Tuesday, August 16, was this one:

I especially like the blending of what is at first blush fairly classical heraldic design with the digital icons and so forth from the on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia. (Especially the “needs citation” following “established 1409"!)

Needless to say, my own tshirt with this design will be mailed soon. Because I simply had to have this one, you know?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Heraldry in Vicksburg, Mississippi

Driving back home to Dallas, Texas from High Point, North Carolina, Interstate Highway 20 goes right through Vicksburg, Mississippi. Whenever I get to go through Vicksburg, I always try to stop for a while and visit the Vicksburg National Military Park and the adjacent National Cemetery.

This time, though, I was also a “man on a mission.” In addition to all the Civil War history there, I was looking to see what coats of arms I might find. Now, I didn’t have a lot of time – the drive from North Carolina to Texas takes two days, this was early on the second day, and I was heading for home and wanted to arrive at a decent time. But I took an hour to see what I could see, and I did come across the following.

The coat of arms of the State of Missouri were found on a number of monuments as I drove through the park.

And here’s a color version from the web that may be easier to make out.  (Though I think I prefer the bear supporters from the monument.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

(Non-)Heraldry in High Point, North Carolina, Part 8 of 8

So, we’ve talked about, and shown you, the real heraldry, “funky” heraldry, and even some made-up “heraldry” that can be found in High Point, North Carolina. But now we come to what I call the “non-heraldry” portion of this trip. By that I mean, the places where heraldry or a coat of arms would be an ideal display, but where instead we find simply a blank cartouche (or cartouches).

This first cartouche is on the pediment of the First United Methodist Church on Main Street.

And here, on the facade of another building, are not one, not two, but three empty cartouches in an otherwise really cool display of architectural decoration.

These empty places where heraldry could live just about drive me nuts sometimes. With a little more thought and effort, some really good armory could be placed there. It’s almost enough to make me want to go back with a ladder and some paint. But, no, I’ll be good. For some reason, some folks think painting on a building you don’t own is vandalism, even if what you’re trying to do is show folks that heraldry can be an important part of the architectural embellishment of a building. Maybe another time.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Heraldry in High Point, North Carolina, Part 7

Sometimes in High Point, I didn’t need to walk to see the heraldry; sometimes the heraldry was doing the walking around.

In this case, it was an older veteran with a tee shirt of the 3-6 Cavalry, Silver Spur. The 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Brigade "Heavy Cav" was based at Camp Humphreys, South Korea from 1996 to 2002. The Silver Spurs were B Troop in the 3-6. The 3-6 flew Apache attack helicopters, the modern equivalent of medieval and later heavy cavalry. (Hence the cross sabers on the arms of the unit.) The 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry was inactivated on 15 June 2006.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Heraldry in High Point, North Carolina, Part 6

Continuing north on Main Street in High Point, North Carolina, we come to the Sheraton Towers, a great old (built in 1920, renovated in 1981) nine-story building of apartments for seniors and disabled non-assisted living, with an unusual “coat of arms” prominently displayed on its facade.

Frankly, I have no idea what this coat is supposed to represent, with its seven stars (five and two) around a ribbon or scroll bendwise sinister. Neither are the tinctures hatched or marked in any way, so anything else that I might have to say about it could only be speculation.

Still, it looks like heraldry and acts like heraldry, so who am I to say that it isn’t, just because I may not understand it?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oh, My!

There’s an heraldic item up on eBay (the UK version) right now, that you can buy for only £1.97, that has the descriptor “Patch Badge Sew Iron Coat of Arms Flag England UK”. Of all the words in that description, I think I can fully accept “patch”, “sew”, “iron,” and possibly “coat of arms.” (It’s not truly a coat of arms, though it is heraldry like.) It’s not a “badge,” nor is it a “flag,” and the only relationship it has to “England” or the “UK” is that it comes to you from there. (No, wait, it doesn’t either. Looking at the entire entry more closely, it’s being shipped from Chiang Mai, Thailand. So I guess the only relationship it has to England or the UK is that it’s being sold via And why do I care at all about this? Well, see for yourself.
Never mind that it's a red eagle on a black field, which really isn't English heraldic style.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a Germanic-looking eagle associated with England before. I hope I never do again.

I did go ahead and look at some of the stuff in their on-line eBay store, and they have some patches with the Union flag and with the cross of St. George on them, so it’s not a total loss. They’ve also got an heraldic patch consisting of a crowned shield with a lion rampant and the word “Sexy” on a chief (shown below; personally, I'm not certain that I could carry off wearing it), as well as a patch for Switzerland and patches with the flags of Turkey and Spain.
In the meantime, if you think you might be interested in purchasing this little gem (at the time I looked, there were still five available, and there was free economy delivery.  For myself, I'm going to pass this time), you can find it on-line at:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Heraldry in High Point, North Carolina, Part 5

Heading back north on Main Street in High Point, North Carolina, I found the following in two of the windows of a commercial building.

Golden Chair, Inc. is the name of the company, whose showroom is in the building. (There are a lot of furniture companies in High Point.) They manufacture occasional chairs and sofa sets. The “arms” they use as their logo might be blazoned as Sable, a spring of three oak leaves between in chief two acorns, a chief trefoily counter-trefoily or.