“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, April 4, 2016
Heraldry Is Where You Find It
And you can, apparently, find it anywhere!
We had been in Las Vegas, Nevada, doing a bunch of stuff for my elderly mother. One of the things in that "stuff" was cleaning and organizing her house. During that effort, I ran across this little heraldic item:
It's a bronze medallion from the February 10, 1986 dedication of a new wing to the Southern Nevada Vocational Technical Center (usually called Vo-Tech then and when my mother taught there, but now it is renamed the Southeast Career Technical Academy, SECTA or Tech).
The heraldry on the medallion is pretty typical of what I've come to expect for the arms-like logos of educational institutions in the United States; that is to say, not great.
I am assuming that the very narrow cross and bordure in the design are designed to be detailing, and not actual charges on the field. The quarterly field has: 1, an open book surmounted by a feather (presumably supposed to be a quill pen) bendwise; 2, a roadrunner (the real thing, not the one from the cartoons which Wile E. Coyote is always trying to kill with all those wonderful contraptions he buys from the Acme Corporation); 3, a sun charged with a "V" (if you were to try to guess the weather in Las Vegas without first looking it up, if you were to say "sunny," you would be correct more than 95% of the time), the "V" presumably standing for "Vocational." the other mark within the V may be meant to be a "T" for Technical, but it is not clearly that either on the medallion or in the scan; and 4, a standing balance (more usually associated with the law and lawyers; I don't know if the school had a pre-law program, so I'm not sure if that's why it appears on this shield). The crest is, naturally enough, a lamp of knowledge.
All this to demonstrate once again that you truly can find heraldry everywhere!