“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...
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Thursday, November 21, 2013
Eastward, Ho! A Follow-Up
Having had the time to do a little more research into the naval heraldry noted in my last post, I feel pretty safe in identifying the ship from which that particular bow decoration came from as being the armored cruiser ACR-2 USS New York. (The ACR-1, which was later designated as a second class battleship, was the USS Maine, of "Remember the ..." fame.)
My reasons for believing the arms belonged to the New York are several: first, the word "Excelcior" (which I believe is a misspelled "Excelsior"); second, the eagle over the shield; and finally, the two human figure "supporters" seen in profile on each side of the arms. So why exactly does that make me think "New York"? Well, this does: the arms of the State of New York.
See what I mean? Compare this achievement with the external ornaments (or to use a different term, artistic "frou-frou") about the shield of the arms of the United States in my last post, below.
And here is a photograph of the New York, with the eagle showing quite prominently above the shield on the bow.
And here is another, taken from the starboard side. If you click on the picture here, you should see the full-size version, where details of the bow decoration show up pretty well.
The New York was not, alas, a part of the Great White Fleet which circumnavigated the globe under President Theodore Roosevelt. She did, however, have a long and active service, being at one time the flagship of the Pacific Fleet.
All in all, a really great piece of heraldry, and history, to have run across!