Heralds [in the past] … blazoned [the arms they granted] so fully and aptly, that no man could be at a loss to draw them with accuracy and exactness.
Modern heralds, however, … the descriptions which they give us of those very arms are so loose and defective, that such arms cannot with certainty and exactness be drawn from their blazon, as they stand worded in the grants.
Joseph Edmonson, A Complete Body of Heraldry, Vol. 1, 1780, p. 171
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, May 15, 2014
An Example of "Don't Do This"
Well, that'll teach me go just go cruising about the internet by myself. There I was, just wandering about and looking at stuff and following whatever caught my eye for a little while, and I ran across the following:
Yeah, the "coat of arms" in the seal of the City of Hartford, Connecticut. You can tell it's Hartford because you have a hart, or stag, crossing a river (presumably, the ford, though an heraldic ford is a different thing altogether), and you know it's Connecticut because of the grapevine in base, three of which appear on the arms and, because the arms appear on the flag, the flag of the State of Connecticut.
And, of course, you can tell that it's located within the bounds of the United States of America because of the eagle (wings displayed) sitting atop the shield. Really, about the only thing they're missing is the GPS coordinates (41.762736°N 72.674286°W, if you must know).
And what is that stuff that they've done instead of mantling down the sides of the shield? The upper parts look like Victorian gas brackets, but the lower parts look like branches of some sort. Oak, maybe?
I guess I could just chalk it all up to that old quote by Catherine Aird: “If you can't be a good example, then you'll
just have to be a horrible warning.” "Horrible" may be a little strong here; I've certainly seen worse. But, still, it's not good.