Heralds [in the past] … blazoned [the arms they granted] so fully and aptly, that no man could be at a loss to draw them with accuracy and exactness.
Modern heralds, however, … the descriptions which they give us of those very arms are so loose and defective, that such arms cannot with certainty and exactness be drawn from their blazon, as they stand worded in the grants.
Joseph Edmonson, A Complete Body of Heraldry, Vol. 1, 1780, p. 171
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
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Heraldic Change in the News!
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: