“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, June 24, 2013
Just Because ...
... something is placed on an escutcheon, a shield shape, that does not necessarily mean that it is, or is trying to be, heraldry. Case in point ....
This particular design was being discussed a week ago over on the SCA Heralds newsgroup. It is the logo of Ashford University of Clinton, Iowa (http://www.ashford.edu/). Some folks went so far as to try and blazon it; the most successful attempt was Purpure, a "bend" argent, overall a bend sinister counterchanged tenne and Or and a base counterchanged azure and purpure.
But is the ability to create a blazon for a design like this mean that it is, is trying to be, or should be considered to be, heraldry? I don't think so. Steve Mesnick, posting on June 13, 2013, said as well as, if a bit more emphatically than, I would:
"It happens to be vaguely escutcheon-shaped, because I imagine it's INSPIRED by traditional educational-institution heraldry. I WILL grant you that. But it's NOT their coat of arms, and it's not TRYING to be. The fact that WE want it to be their coat of arms is OUR problem, not theirs."
So, yes, it's on a shield shape. But it isn't, and doesn't seem to be trying to be, a coat of arms. As a corporate logo, it's eye-catching, distinctive, and unique. All good qualities for a modern logo. And it may, indeed, be trying with the shield shape to tie itself into a long tradition of educational heraldry. But ...
Just because it's on a shield shape doesn't mean that it is heraldry.