“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
Thursday, February 6, 2014
The Symbolism in One City's Coat of Arms
A book in the Images of America Series entitled Kinston, by Nina Moore (Arcadia Publishers, Charleston, South Carolina, 2002), gives the history and symbolism of most of the various charges and emblems in the coat of arms of the City of Kinston, North Carolina.
These arms were granted to the City in 1960 by the College of Arms in London, following a campaign by Marion A. Parrot, who was influenced by the fact that when he was stationed in England during WWII, he noticed that all of the towns in that country had their own coat of arms. Since Kinston was about to celebrate the 200th anniversary of its founding in 1762, he thought that his city should have a coat of arms, too.
According to the book Kinston, "[t]he crown int he middle represents Kinston's original name of Kingston in honor of King George III. The gold lion symbolizes courage and fortitude, and the two sprigs of golden tobacco refer to Kinston's principle [sic] industry. Reminiscent of the Tuscarora War, a sword and an arrow are crossed on the bottom. The blue and white waves under the cross sword and arrow are the River Neuse upon which the Town of Kinston is situated. The female figure on the right [well, heraldic "right," or dexter] holds a cornucopia, representing prosperity, and on the left [heraldic "left," sinister] stands a Native American, a brave of the Neuse Tribe, smoking a 'pipe of peace."
I didn't find anything to explain the meaning of the unicorn's head crest, nor of the ermine fess.
The City of Kinston is the county seat of Lenoir County, North Carolina, which has its own coat of arms.