Thursday, February 16, 2012

Heraldry in the News!

Or, Heraldic Tempest in a Teapot.

In a couple of news articles in recent weeks, it has been reported that Jonathan Drori, Chairman of the Speaker's Advisory Council on Public Engagement, told members of Parliament that the parliamentary logo is "hardly welcoming".  He said that research has shown that members of the public are put off by the "iconography" of Parliament and that MPs "have to understand how many members of the public feel" when visiting.

The crowned portcullis (gate) badge of Parliament is used on documents, stationery and other parliamentary material; green for the Commons, and red for the Lords. The badge is also carved into the stones and woodwork of Westminster Palace and emblazoned on chairs.

However, despite reports stating that he said the portcullis "should be axed," Mr. Drori has stated that "First, I don't think I said that the portcullis logo should be axed. I did indeed say that some people find it offputting but it's just one factor alongside all the other things like parliamentary language and jargon, the location of Committe meetings and a whole host of other factors that taken as a whole make Parliament and our democracy less accessible than it might otherwise be."

News items about this heraldic controversy, such as it is, can be found on-line at: (Mr. Drori's response can be found in the comments thread to this article),, and

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