“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, March 25, 2013
Heraldry in the News!
O. M. G.
In a March 14, 2013 article at Volume One, entitled "A Coat of Arms for Eau Claire?," Eau Claire, Wisconsin, City Councilman David Duax has been spearheading an effort to get the city to adopt a coat of arms. Councilman Duax and Council President Kerry Kincaid have worked with Eau Claire graphic artist Rachel Schimelman to create a "coat of arms," which would also be used as part of the city's official seal. A draft version of the artwork, unveiled by Kincaid at Eau Claire's Own Birthday Bash at the Volume One Gallery on March 9, is shown below.
As I said, O. M. G.
Apparently they opted to go with what I tend to term "kitchen sink" heraldry, containing as it does "everything but the kitchen sink." The Volume One article suggested that to include all of the symbols of Eau Claire, you would choose: "The mighty Chippewa River and its more slender sibling, the Eau Claire River.... Trees to represent lumbering. Something to honor the region's indigenous inhabitants, ... and something French too. And don't forget our most famous avian historical figure, Old Abe the war eagle." Not to mention "the tower of the original county courthouse," a star to symbolize Eau Claire's status as a county seat, and "fleurs-de-lis represent the entities (two villages and four townships) that were united to create the city in 1872." And, of course, we mustn't overlook the inescutcheon and the "outescutcheon" (for lack of a better term), nor the two trees as supporters. As I said, "kitchen sink" heraldry.
Ms. Schimelman "had never been asked to create a coat of arms before," something I have no trouble at all believing. And she doesn't expect the City Council to seek many changes. "'I don't think council members see themselves as on-the-fly graphic artists,' she said with a laugh." And if they actually don't ask for many changes, I can easily believe that, too.
I suppose I shouldn't complain too much; it does obey the rule of contrast (no color upon color, and no metal upon metal), after all, something that many heraldic designs by non-heralds fail to do.