“What is it that induceth you, what stirs you up to believe, or who told you that white signifieth faith, and blue constancy? An old paltry book, say you, sold by the hawking pedlars and balladmongers, entitled The Blason of Colours. Who made it? Whoever it was, he was wise in that he did not set his name to it. But, besides, I know not what I should rather admire in him, his presumption or his s...ottishness. His presumption and overweening, for that he should without reason, without cause, or without any appearance of truth, have dared to prescribe, by his private authority, what things should be denotated and signified by the colour: which is the custom of tyrants, who will have their will to bear sway in stead of equity, and not of the wise and learned, who with the evidence of reason satisfy their readers. His sottishness and want of spirit, in that he thought that, without any other demonstration or sufficient argument, the world would be pleased to make his blockish and ridiculous impositions the rule of their devices.” - Rabelais
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't design and 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. (You can find some of my books about heraldry and a list of my articles and presentations about heraldry at "Our Website" below.) 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 ask or let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
In a recent (April 9, 2013) news article, kentnews.co.uk noted the display in the Natural History Museum in London of the first substantiall...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Monday, June 4, 2012
Heraldry in the Blogosphere
There’s a post over on the Australian-based blog FeltySurface from April 15 that is entitled “The Origins of Branding – Heraldry in contemporary Australia” that is of interest. The author, Michelle Tabet, talks about heraldry in relationship to the modern business concept of “branding.” (As opposed to the cattle ranching concept of branding, as described in Hot Irons: Heraldry of the Range by Oren Arnold and John Prentiss Hale. It's a great book - I have a copy in my heraldic library - but it's not quite the same kind of "branding.")
One comment in particular that she made really stuck with me: “The coat of arms is an aspirational composition of symbols and mottos that is meant to simultaneous[ly] define and guide the destiny of a place, person or family, how very similar to the way we use brands!”
And another: “To some extent, I gather that it is the historic value of the heraldry that make[s] it so special and worth coveting.” Indeed so (in my opinion).
Her blog post arose from a conversation with a friend of hers and their discussion with the Knox City Council on brand strategy. The City has the following coat of arms:
Which coat of arms she notes is appropriate for a largely rural 19th Century community, but does it still work for a 21st Century urban one?
She gives Dan the final word, or at least questions, for her readers (and now, mine) to ponder: “Why do we use medieval, 18th or 19th century institutions and customs to solve 21st century problems? What scope for reform is there within this categorical mismatch?”