A microscopic piece of heraldry necessarily stands condemned, because it merely pretends to hint that the owner thinks himself a person of distinction, instead of performing the true function of enabling the casual observer to identify the owner. Monograms and unostentatious heraldry are therefor the badge of the parvenu, and such heraldry is usually bogus. Genuine arms are almost always displayed boldly and beautifully at every possible opportunity, indoors and out. --
Thomas Innes of Learney, Scots Heraldry, pp. 161-162
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
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Another Heraldic Acquisition from Washington, DC
The other heraldic object I found at Ronald Reagan International Airport in Washington, DC had not one, but two, coats of arms on it. And was considerably easier to get home than the glass coffee mug without worrying about breaking it!
The obvious heraldry is, of course, the full color version of the Seal of the President of the United States. (Fortunately, I don't think that I could ever be mistaken for the actual holder of that office, so I should be safe from prosecution for impersonating him.)
The heraldry there is, of course, the full achievement of arms of the United States, with the shield (Paly of thirteen argent and gules a chief azure) on the breast of a bald eagle displayed, grasping in its dexter talon an olive branch and in its sinister a sheaf of 13 arrows, holding a motto scroll in its beak, and with the crest of a glory breaking through clouds over its head.
Not quite as obvious, though lightly visible in the picture above, is another, simpler depiction of the achievement on the brim of the cap, done in black on black.
There are also the words "Washington DC" curving around the brim to the right (heraldic sinister). (Just in case you forgot where you bought it, I guess!)
Anyway, I thought it would make a nice addition to my growing collection of heraldic caps, and it fit easily into my carry-on luggage, so it's home with me now, and worn as the mood strikes.