The alphabet is one set of arbitrary symbols. The figures of heraldry are another set of arbitrary symbols. In the fourteenth century every gentleman knew one: in the twentieth century every gentleman knows the other. The first gentleman was just precisely as ignorant for not knowing that c-a-t spells "cat," as the second gentleman is for not knowing that a St. Andrew's Cross is called a cross saltire, or that vert on gules is bad heraldry. -- G.K. Chesterson
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't 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. 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 let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
This is what happens when an heraldic artist has never seen anything more than a very rough description of an heraldic beast when painting ...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Monday, November 3, 2014
Found Heraldry on My Birthday
You know how I keep saying that "you can find heraldry everywhere"? Well, we proved it once again when we went out on my most recent birthday. (No, I'm not going to tell you which birthday it was, nor am I going to tell you the date. Let's just say it was this fall, and it's more years than I care to think back over. At least I'm not like some in my family, who annually celebrate the nth anniversary of their 29th birthday. So let it go, okay?
Anyway, to get back to the topic at hand:
We had gone to the Dallas Chocolate Festival (oh, yeah, it was totally worth it!), and having gone through and visited with and sampled the wares of all of the chocolatiers and gaining several pounds just from the smell of chocolate filling the room, we had a little time afterwards to wander about the neighborhood and see what we could see.
And, since you can "find heraldry everywhere," we, oh yeah, found some heraldry.
This is the arm-like logo of the Addison, Texas Police Department. (Though it was styled the "Dallas Chocolate Festival," it was actually held in Addison, a suburb on the north side of Dallas.) I find it interesting because they include as a part of their logo the seal, and de facto coat of arms, of the State of Texas (a white star on a blue field within a wreath of live oak and laurel proper).
Down the street and around the next corner is a British-style pub, which uses for its sign the crest from the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom.
Neither one may be the best use of heraldry, but, by golly, they are certainly attempts at using heraldry in the way that heraldry was designed to be used: identification.
And we found it just by having a little time and walking down the street to see what we could see.