The alphabet is one set of arbitrary symbols. The figures of heraldry are another set of arbitrary symbols. In the fourteenth century every gentleman knew one: in the twentieth century every gentleman knows the other. The first gentleman was just precisely as ignorant for not knowing that c-a-t spells "cat," as the second gentleman is for not knowing that a St. Andrew's Cross is called a cross saltire, or that vert on gules is bad heraldry. -- G.K. Chesterson
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't 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. 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 let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
This is what happens when an heraldic artist has never seen anything more than a very rough description of an heraldic beast when painting ...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Thursday, May 9, 2013
And Speaking of the State of Vermont ...
What had led me to the follow-up story about the Vermont coat of arms with a pig as one of the cow's spots was a comment in an April 28, 2013 article on VTDigger.com entitled In This State: The branding of Vermont, wherein they interview Scott Reilly, an archivist at the Vermont State Archives in Middlesex, and give a nice history of the coat of arms of the state, complete with illustrations of various depictions through the years.
My personal favorite example from the article is this one, full of bright colors and depth and plenty of gilding, but others pay prefer some of the historical examples, ranging in date from 1779 to 1903.
Interestingly, it wasn't until 1862 (right in the middle of the American Civil War) that Vermont codified a description of the state's coat of arms: The fields and trees are green, the sky yellow, the Green Mountains blue. A pine tree dominates the center, flanked by three sheaves of wheat and a red cow. The crest is a buck's head with antlers, and two crossed pine branches appear at the base and sides. A ribbon bearing the motto "Freedom and Unity" floats across the base.
I could probably add a lot more here, but it would continue to be duplicative of the article. If you'd like to know more about the origins and history of the landscape coat of arms of the State of Vermont, feel free to follow the link here to the article and read it for yourself. It can be found on-line at http://vtdigger.org/2013/04/28/in-this-state-the-branding-of-vermont/