From Lowe's Curiosities of Heraldry: “It does not seem to have occured to these allegorizing worthies that the tincture of a charge may be diametrically opposed to the signification assigned to the charge itself. For example, the coat ‘Vert, a bull's head or’ by the armilogical rules cited above, would signify, as to the tinctures, pleasure and joy, while as to the charge it would mean rage and fury. Again, ‘Purpure, a wolf argent’ would mean ‘a wrangler with a peacable disposition!!’”
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: