“How deceived I have been … From your letters [of presentation] I understood you to be an ambassador, but all I got was a herald….” (Elizabeth I, responding to a young and importunate ambassador from the King of Poland who spoke out of turn and in inappropriate language, 1597)
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, December 14, 2015
A Proposal for a Replacement Coat of Arms in Australia
We've covered the topic of the coat of arms, and some of the folks who think that they ought to be changed, of the Australian Capital Territory and the City of Canberra (which the ACT has simply used to represent itself, despite the arms having been granted to the Federal Capital Commissioners for the City of Canberra), several times previously in this blog. (See our posts of September 6, 2012; April 4, 2013; and August 8 and 26, 2013.)
Well, they're at it again.
The complaint is that there's really nothing Australian about the coat of arms. With which argument, frankly, I have to agree. See what I mean?
I recently ran across an article in The Canberra Times which highlighted a proposed new coat of arms for the ACT and Canberra (though why they think the two should bear the same arms I do not know) which is just chock-full of Australian imagery.
I do wish they hadn't made the background black; it makes the black swan supporters very hard to identify.
This proposed coat of arms also reminds me a bit of the "arms" of the State of New York here in the U.S.
But that, I suppose, should be neither here nor there. (No, really! It shouldn't be here, and it shouldn't be there. But then, I don't care for much of the "landscape heraldry" that passes for state symbols here in the U.S. Maybe that's just me, though. Others may like their heraldry that way.)
But I digress.
In addition to the gang-gang cockatoo on the arms, the designer, Steven Squires, has filled the shield and crest and other external additaments with lots of local meaning. And it's certainly not as bad as some of the heraldry that I've seen some people come up with. Still and all, though, I'm not sure that it's all that fortuitous a design. Yes, it is more "Australian," but no, it's not that great a piece of heraldry.