Monday, April 30, 2012

Heraldry In and Around Dallas, Texas (circa 1996)

I recently had to acquire a new desktop computer. (Well, technically, I didn’t have to, but since I’d filled up 99% of the hard drive on the desktop that I had, it made working on it a bit “iffy” sometimes.) And, of course, since I have to work in a Windows environment at my job, I pretty much had to get a computer with a Windows operating system. Windows 7, unfortunately. Which is what created the problem for me. The old PC ran Windows XP, and not all of the programs that I used on it would run on the new Win7 machine. Programs that I’ve been using for years now. Some programs which I’ve been using since at least the PC before the PC I’m replacing now. (Change may be said to be good, but it is also a pain in the patoot!)

One of the programs that wouldn’t even install, much less run, on the new PC was a proprietary photo-editing program that I’ve used since well before switching to a digital camera a few years ago. I’d take pictures, mail the film off to them, and they’d send me back photos and/or slides and a disk with digital copies of all the photos that I could play around (crop, adjust, etc.) with in their software. Needless to say, I had several folders worth of photos that I couldn’t just transfer from the old PC to the new one, since the proprietary software wouldn’t load there. So I went through those folders and converted the pictures in them to .jpg’s so that I could open them on the new PC and not just lose them because of the upgrade.

Several of the folders contained photographs of heraldry I’d taken in and around Dallas, Texas from which I pulled examples to use in a presentation that I gave at the International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences in Turin, Italy in 1998. (A copy of that presentation can be found on-line at: Converting all of those photos, many of which I didn’t use in the presentation, made me realize once again how much heraldry I can see around me every day. So I thought I’d take some of those photos and share them with you. Some of them are the arms or logos of companies which have changed them since 1998, or which have closed or gone out of business since then, but they remain interesting as examples of how heraldry has been used here in the United States.

The first heraldic logo I’m going to share is that of the Boehm Porcelain Gallery, since closed, which had been located in The Crescent office and retail complex on the north side of downtown Dallas. I have no idea where the arms come from originally (they do not appear under “Boehm” in either Rietstap’s Armorial Général or Burke’s General Armory). They do, I think, present a pretty “classy” image, despite the fact that the “crest” is facing to sinister, the “torse” has eight instead of the usual six twists, and the scroll (in bend sinister) overlies the shield in a way that no true heraldry does.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Politically Correct Heraldry in the News!

A post in the Wilmington Conservative Examiner earlier this month (April 4, 2012), noted that the Real Madrid Club de Fútbol (Royal Madrid Football Club) had changed its logo: they removed the cross from atop the royal crown on their logo.

(At left is the "old" logo; at right the new one.)  The cross was removed since the team has partnered with the United Arab Emirates in a $1 billion Real Madrid-themed island resort to be located in the Persian Gulf. The reason given for the removal of the cross from the crown is to "'to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation' in relation to a project being built in a largely Muslim region." The cross, with the crown atop it, was added to the Real Madrid logo in 1920, when the club received royal patronage from King Alfonso XIII.

The article goes on to note another earlier case of heraldic amputation when  the Swedish Army made a slight change to the coat of arms of the Nordic Battlegroup, removing the pizzle (the heraldic term for penis) from the heraldic lion on the Battlegroup's arms because of protests from its female members.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Heraldry? in the News!

A recent "news" item (since really it was just a product announcement and not really news, per se) talked about new iPhone4 case from LUKER by Neighborhood.  The case is noted to feature "LUKER's new heraldic coat of arms graphic."

Yeah, well, I suppose a crowned eagle displayed might be considered "heraldic," but there's no way, since it is not placed upon a shield of any shape, that it can be considered to be a "coat of arms."  A "graphic," certainly, no question.  But a coat of arms?  I don't think so.

The full text of the announcement can be found at:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What To Do With Your Coat of Arms

I ran across the following poster a few days ago on one of the Facebook groups to which I belong.

I thought it was some very impressive advice about what to do with your coat of arms once you have one.  Not terribly practical in the 21st Century, I know, but still ... it's a great photograph.  And it reminded me of this painting ...

... from the Manesse Codex, or to give it its proper name, the Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift, Cod. Pal. germ. 848, page 166v, Herr Walther von Metze.  (You can see the entire digitized songbook --which is what it really is, heraldic miniatures to the contrary notwithstanding -- and even download a .pdf of it in its entirety, from the website of the University of Heidelberg at:

It is kind of amazing to see that sort of heraldic display taken from an early 14th Century book and created "live" in the 21st Century.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Just A Reminder!

I continue to periodically add to the links to websites, blogs, etc. found in the left-hand column of this blog as I run across what seem to me to be especially good ones. So it can be well worth your time to look again at these links periodically to see what’s new over there.

And, of course, if you should happen to find a website that may be of special interest to the readers here, please feel free to email me and tell me about it. I’ve only got so much time each day, and don’t get to “surf the internet” as much as I’d like to find sites of interest.  Indeed, a number of links have been added here because a reader pointed out a site to me in just this way.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Name and Arms Clauses in England

I recently ran across an article on the operation of name and arms clauses in wills in England on the website of Spear’s Wealth Management Survey. A name and arms clause is an interesting holdover from earlier times, a tradition, when there is no direct male heir, of expecting the heir to take a surname and coat of arms in order to perpetuate the family name and coat of arms. Such clauses have sometimes led to modern legal disputes.

A name and arms clause provides that, in order to inherit assets under a will, the beneficiary has to take on the surname and coat of arms specified in the will. Often there is a time limit, generally within a year of becoming entitled to inherit, in which to do so. However, all the steps necessary to do that may take more than a year to complete. What happens in that case? It depends upon what steps to initiate the process that the beneficiary has done within that year’s time.

You can read more about a specific case on-line at:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Heraldic Stained Glass in the News!

There’s a recent (March 20, 2012) article over on “the Beeb”,, about the new stained glass window recently unveiled at Westminster in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, and the artist who created it.

As you can see, it’s a marvelous piece of heraldic art. It is made up of about 1,500 individual pieces of glass, and is a gift to the Queen paid for by personal contributions from members of both houses of Parliament. It will be installed over the north door of Westminster Hall later this year.

The full article can be found on-line at:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

From an Old "Book of Arms", Part 3 of 3

A few pages further along in Mr. Punch's Book of Arms we come across the "arms" of Welsh-born American journalist and explorer "Viscount Stanley of the Congo."  (You can find out a lot more about the real Sir Henry Morton Stanley on-line at

The arms are blazoned in the book as follows:

Arms: Quarterly, i, two dwarfs of the forest of perpetual night proper, journalistically exploited to the nines, ii, a continent sable, crossed by a small white band issuant from the interior, iii, a New York herald blowing a trumpet of his own in exultation over repeated columns of copy sensational to the last, iv, a missionary of renown discovered in solitude near U-jiji sable.  Crest: Out of a demi-terrestrial globe "southern hemisphere" a spread-eagle proper emergent in his glory gorged with honorary degrees "south latitude", bearing in dexter claw an American flag, in sinister an union-jack. Supporters: Dexter, A neutral monarch crowned, sceptred, and habited proper in a can't-go-free state, Sinister, A publisher radiant charged in the arms with a colossal profit on the books of the present viscount.  Second Motto, "Mr. Speaker, I presume?" on very rare occasions.

Monday, April 2, 2012

From an Old "Book of Arms", Part 2 of 3

One of the fun things about owning a Kindle e-reader is that you can find not just books but entire collections of books for the thing, often very inexpensively.  In the case at hand, I had bought the entire works of Rudyard Kipling, and over the course of last summer and fall had read the entire set.  (Yes, I'd read bits and pieces of Kipling before, but this is the first time I'd had the opportunity to read all of his stories.  It was a fascinating read both for history and for going far beyond the Jungle Book, the Just-So Stories, and The Man Who Would Be King.)  Anyway, all that reading had helped to pay extra attention when I was recently thumbing through Mr. Punch's Book of Arms (which I spoke of in my last post) and ran across the following, the arms of "Lord Kipling of Mandalay:"

The blazon given in the Book of Arms is:

Arms: Quarterly, i, A review laudatory richly deserved quite proper; ii, an heraldic jungle-bok rampant under several deodars or mem-sahibs or words to that effect; iii, a lordly elephint a pilin' teak; iv, an argot-nautical vessel "in verse" in full sale, classed A1 at Lloyds, charged with a cargo of technicalities all warranted genuine.  Crest: On a charger argent the head of a publisher urgent.  Supporters: Dexter, A tommy atkins in all his glory, arrayed proper by a plain tailor from the hills; Sinister, A first-class fighting man or fuzzy wuzzy of the Soudan, regardant sable on a British square charged with an elan effrontee.