“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.
According to a couple of recent articles (August 17 and 21, 2012) in The Canberra Times, the Australian Republic Movement is asking the people of the Australian Capital Territory, containing the continent's capital city of Canberra, whether they want to keep the Territory’s current coat of arms or overhaul it to mark the city's centenary next year.
At least some members of the movement seem to believe that there are way too many symbols of England, and English rulers, on the armory; indeed, one supporter stated that the arms incorporate “old-world, aristocratic imagery of crowns, castles, swords and maces.” On the other hand, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said that she was unaware of any groundswell of public support for a change in the arms, while noting that a ''community conversation … could uncover a mood for symbolic change''.
The second article also has a nice section near the end where the designer of the current arms, quoted from an essay in the Sydney Morning Herald in May 1929, talks about his thought processes in the design, especially how he came up with the idea for the two swan supporters to represent aboriginal Australians and English colonists there.
It’s a nice couple of articles about some of the reasons whether or not an armorial entity should change its heraldry to better conform with its own ideas about itself and its people. Both articles can be found on-line at: