“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, February 3, 2014
I Thought I Recognized That Shield!
Working at a law firm as I do, occasionally I'll see some correspondence or an envelope from another law firm which uses an heraldic-like device as a logo. Recently, a letter came over my desk with the following:
It's okay as a design, I suppose, though it's not really heraldry. And the motto on the scroll is, I suppose, a decent one for a law firm: "Truth overcomes all things." Though Fairbairn's Crests gives the Latin for this motto, borne by the de Courcy, Eaton, Goodchild, and Laffan families, as Vincit omnia veritas, slightly different from the version here. But vicit is "conquers" (also according to Fairbairn), so that part may be okay, too. (But what do I know? Putting on my best Dr. McCoy voice: "Dammit, Jim, I'm a herald, not a Latinist!")
Anyway, what really struck me about this logo was that the design of the shield and motto scroll looked familiar to me somehow. So I pondered on it a little, and thought that I remembered where I'd seen it before. I then dug through some of my photographs and depictions of heraldry from over the years and, sure enough, found what I had remembered.
This design is used frequently in the heraldic unit insignia of the United States Air Force. Witness the following sampling of examples:
I don't know if the founder of the Loya Law Firm was ever in the Air Force, or whether the resemblance of his logo is a deliberate modeling of the design of much USAF heraldry, but I think you can see here why it just seemed "familiar" to me, somehow. It's really a fairly distinctive shield and scroll shape combination.