The alphabet is one set of arbitrary symbols. The figures of heraldry are another set of arbitrary symbols. In the fourteenth century every gentleman knew one: in the twentieth century every gentleman knows the other. The first gentleman was just precisely as ignorant for not knowing that c-a-t spells "cat," as the second gentleman is for not knowing that a St. Andrew's Cross is called a cross saltire, or that vert on gules is bad heraldry. -- G.K. Chesterson
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't register people's coats of arms (though I can certainly suggest designs for those who might be interested). What I do is study, research, teach, and write about heraldry. And I like to share what I have learned about heraldry, hence this blog. I hope that you'll find it informative, interesting at least occasionally, and worth your time to come back. Got a question? Comments? Feel free to let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
This is what happens when an heraldic artist has never seen anything more than a very rough description of an heraldic beast when painting ...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Friday, May 11, 2012
Heraldry in the News!
I realize that many of you may have seen this already; it appears to be big news to some folks and I’ve seen it reported a number of places in the past two or three days.
It seems that Her (British) Majesty’s Government is doing a bit of “re-branding” and all the government departments, except for departments who currently have an “heraldic badge or crest,” such as the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence, are going to be using a “digital-friendly” version of the Royal Arms (including supporters and crest). A spokesman for the Cabinet Office was quoted as saying: “We have developed a new consistent approach to our identity which comprises the royal crest alongside the relevant organisation name.”
Here’s a look at the new color scheme to be applied to the Royal Arms to be used by each department:
Departments would also have some of
” – a crown and a Union Jack – for use in certain situations, such as for overseas correspondence,
“or when the RCoA is not recognised by the desired audience.
” (Really? Well, yeah, okay, I suppose there are those here and there around the world who might not recognize the Royal Arms but would recognize the flag. I would hope, however, that none of those folks are heraldry enthusiasts!)
The idea for using a single logo for most government departments are part of the single domain project which came from Martha Lane Fox, the Government’s digital adviser, who also recommended last year that the Government develop a single online domain name, reducing the estimated 750 “top level” websites that government departments currently use to a single web address.
While I think that the whole scheme of using a single logo in different colors can be a worthwhile one, and has the potential to save the taxpayers of Great Britain some money at the same time (if everyone’s using the same logo, just in different colors, there is certainly the opportunity for some economy of scale there), I really do wish that they’d stop calling the Royal Arms “the royal crest.” But I suppose that’s a battle I may never win.
Additional reading about this new change can be found at: