Monday, April 29, 2019

A New Logo That Is Both More and Less Heraldic

A recent article on the website of notes the introduction of a new badge (I would call it a "logo") for the Gloucester City AFC (the Tigers).

The article notes that while the old badge had no visible links to Gloucester, the new one "is full of nods to the heraldry and history of the city," including a city skyline, the date of the club's foundation, the city's coat of arms, and the county's motto.

Here's the old logo, which being contained on a shield, was at least quasi-heraldic:

Placing the words "Gloucester City AFC" on the shield isn't the best heraldic style, but Or a pale sable surmounted by a tiger's face or fimbriated and marked sable has at least some nods to heraldic design.

The new one, however, has what I would call some "issues":

The upper half is a skyline containing a tall ship, the tower of Gloucester Cathedral, and a representation of the Gloucester docks. The lower half is simply Paly of six or and gules, with a shield of the arms of the City of Gloucester (Or three chevronels between ten roundels three three three and one gules) which was granted to the city in 1652 in recognition of its citizens' support of the Parliamentary cause in the Civil War. The legend around the central design adds the date of its formation to the name Gloucester City AFC, along with two footballs, and the motto Prorsum semper (Always forward). The motto is that of the county, Gloucestershire.

So the new badge (logo) is a little more heraldic than the old one, in that it contains an actual coat of arms (though not the arms of the club, but of the city where the club plays), but overall it is a lot less heraldic than the old badge (logo) in that it has become a lot more complex with the addition of even more words, a skyline, footballs, and the red and gold stripes in the bottom.

All in all, I'm not sure it's really an improvement on the old one. But you can see why I consider it to be both more and less heraldic.

If you're interested in reading more about this new badge (logo), you can find this article on the website of at

Thursday, April 25, 2019

A New Armorial Sartorial Purchase

I love my friends! Whenever one or another of them runs across something that they know I might like, they let me know about it. And, despite the damage it sometimes does to my monthly budget, I really do appreciate their watching out for stuff I might not otherwise see.

The most recent instance was an email from a friend who was in New York City spending some time visiting The Met, the world-famous Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Her email consisted of a short message - "You will get a 'kick' with these. :)" and a link to the following item in The Met's gift shop:

Part of the description about these socks notes that "the designs are copied from the 'official' roll of arms of Arthur's knights, compiled by the Arthurian enthusiast Jacques d'Armagnac, duke of Nemours, about 1450."

So of course I had to go out and buy a pair!

Might you be interested in having your own pair of these armorial socks? You can buy them on-line from The Met at

My new pair of armorial socks have arrived, I'm trying to decide where and when would be the best event to inflict them on an unsuspecting public unveil them.

Monday, April 22, 2019

A Well-Known Coat of Arms in Canterbury

Walking down one of the streets inside the old city walls of Canterbury, I came across this wonderful old door which had set into the wall above it a well-known coat of arms:

The arms are, of course, those of the See of Canterbury.

We have seen these arms before in my earlier posts about the Church of St. Mary at Lambeth, and will see them again in some posts in the near future, where they are marshaled with the personal arms of some of the archbishops.

The arms of the see are blazoned: Azure a cross-staff or with its cross argent overall a pallium argent trimmed or charged with four crosses formy fitchy sable.

Watch for future posts containing these arms (both alone and marshaled) when I finally get to the jewel of the city, Canterbury Cathedral.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Display of Restaurant Heraldry

The Pound at One Pound Lane in Canterbury is a restaurant with a twist; it is located in what used to be a police station complete with jail cells.

I can't give you a review of the food or service there; while we looked into the restaurant upstairs (walking past and checking out some of the jail cells where you can also eat on our way there), we were just looking for a quick bite before heading back to the hotel to get some sleep, and the food there was going to be more filling than we wanted.

Nonetheless, I did get some photos of their logo, an unusual version of quartered arms on a shield:

They are clearly playing off the history of the venue, what with the portcullis, keys, and halberds, as well as the Union flag.

It's not quite heraldry, but it's an eye-catching logo for a restaurant located in an interesting, and historical, venue.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Some Heraldry That I Did See

I felt that I ought to make up for having only almost seen the heraldry I talked about in my last post. And, sure enough, because frankly, I'm always looking for coats of arms, I saw some.

Well, to be honest, I wasn't driving at the time, and so I wasn't having to watch the road like last time. I was walking, and when I'm walking I get to look around a lot more.

And while I was walking and looking around, I saw this bit of pseudo-heraldry:

It is, as you can see, the logo of the Heritage School of Texas here in Dallas.

While it is on an heraldic shield, it is not especially heraldic: the green stuff on each side of the demi-hawk/falcon reguardant is presumably meant to be taken as a laurel wreath; the blue on blue "sunrise" in base is somewhat odd; and they felt the need to include "Founded 2011" on the shield, too.

The motto (for some reason placed across the shield rather than under or over it) is Videre ut Deus Videt (We see that God sees).

The school "provides a challenging Christian education to student of average to above average ability, who have learning differences." It is located in the buildings of Congregation Shearith Israel which, as you might guess from the name, is a Jewish synagogue. I'm not at all sure how that relationship works, but who am I to judge?

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I didn't miss seeing (and photographing) this bit of pseudo-heraldry, and that, once again, "you can find heraldry everywhere!"

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Heraldry I Almost Saw

So there we were, driving down the highway, me dutifully keeping my eyes on the road. (I will sometimes notice heraldry while I'm driving, as a few of my previous posts will demonstrate, but it's usually on the vehicle immediately in front of me.) We ended up passing a truck which had a coat of arms logo on its side. I didn't see it at all (again, watching the road!) and my wife didn't have sufficient time to pull out her phone and take a picture of it. (To someone as old as I am now, that phrase seems weird. Why would one take out a phone to take a picture. Aren't pictures something you take with a camera? But here we are in the 21st Century, taking pictures with our phones.)

Anyway, she made herself a note of the name on the truck and looked it up when we got home, and then sent me a link to their website.

I typed in the URL and sure enough, there on the website of Protect Environmental Services, Inc. was this shield that they are using as their logo:

I'd blazon it as Gules three bars [enarched] or. (The enarching is not very pronounced, and could easily be considered as artistic license, trying to show the curvature of the shield.)

Their website ( indicates that they do hazardous materials cleanup and disposal in north and central Texas, and that they are the emergency response contractor for the Texas Department of Transportation in this area.

Kind of cool, doing good work like that, but I am especially pleased at the simplicity, not to say good heraldic style, of their logo.

The design is not unique; Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials shows Gules three bars or borne by: Beaumont, Berry, de Bury, Blackford/Blakford, Blakeford, Cameron, Muschampe, Poynings, and St. Owen.

But the fact that it is found used by that many families, whether related to each other or not, is a fair demonstration of its being good heraldry.

Congratulations to PES, Inc. I'm sorry I missed seeing your truck while driving down the six-lane highway in Dallas. Maybe if you had been right in front of me ....

Monday, April 8, 2019

An Overdue Rearrangement of the Heraldic Library

It's one of those things that can only be put off for so long.

Well, at least if you (or in this case, I) keep buying heraldry books.

For a long time I've had four 4' tall x 3' wide bookcases to hold most of my heraldic library. But I keep buying more books, and these shelves have gotten pretty well filled up, to the point, in fact, that I've had to put some of the books on top of the shelves just to make room. (And I've also discovered that if you squeeze too many books onto a shelf, they start pushing out the sides of the bookshelf units, which isn't good for either the shelves or the books)

Anyway, here's a couple of the "Before" pictures, looking from left to right along the "bookshelf" wall in my office at home:

As you can see, the organization was not all that it ought to be, and it was hard to get to some of the books in the lower end corners. Not to mention the fact that there were more books than shelf space for them, making all of them very tight.

So I broke down and went on-line to find another bookshelf unit of the same size (and that alone was harder than I thought it should have been!), bought it, had it shipped, and spent two days doing only two things: putting the new bookshelf unit together, and then rearranging all of the heraldry books.

Despite the fact that it's still fairly cool here in north Texas, there was much sweating involved, and I made sure to shower each day so as not to offend my wife's nostrils when I finished up and went back downstairs.

In any event, the new shelf is in, the books are reorganized so that they are all* in the shelf units.

Of course, to make the necessary space for the new bookshelf unit, I had to move the others down the wall a bit, and move out the small two-drawing filing cabinet with all of the genealogy folders in it. (I'm still working on where that's going to go, but I do have a couple of ideas for it.)

But moving the bookshelves meant changing the balance of the stuff hanging on the wall, so I had to move most of those, too. On the positive side, though, it meant that I now have a place to put the small lighted cabinet with a collection of heraldic fairings again, and I've been able to pull a few more heraldic items out of the closet and onto the top of the bookcases where they can be better seen and appreciated. (And I see I have a little wall space above the new bookshelf on either side of the fairings cabinet to hang some more heraldry there. Score! Now to decide what to hang there.)

So all in all, though it was a tough two-days of work, I feel much better about the less crowded conditions and overall arrangement of the heraldic library here. See what you think in these "After" photos:

And ... since I was already in the office with a step stool and tools, I fixed something that's been bugging my sense of order for a while now. When I'd put up the (heraldic!) drapes in the office, I had placed the brackets for the drapery rod narrower than I should have, so the outer edges of the drapes hung outwards at an angle when they were opened. I've moved the brackets out about three inches on each side, and they hang straight now. See?

(Yes, my computer screen is a bit of advice from Ernest Hemingway: "Write drunk; edit sober." What can I say? It sounds like good advice.)

* Well, all except for the volumes I own of the Proceedings of the various International Congresses of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences which I have attended. I'm still working on how best to work those into the bookshelves, and wondering if that's even reasonably possible, or if they should just stay on the shelf in the closet file room where they currently reside.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

A Bit of Double-Duty Heraldry

"Hallmark. A hallmark is an official mark or series of marks struck on items made of metal, mostly to certify the content of noble metals—such as platinum, gold, silver and in some nations, palladium."

The different hallmarks stamped onto a piece of gold or silver, etc. can tell you, for example, the maker of the item, the purity of the metal contained in it, the place of its manufacture, and even the year it was made. Indeed, there are entire websites devoted to the identification of such hallmarks; for example,, or, as only two.

Looking at hallmarks, you may notice that a significant number of them have a strong resemblance to heraldry. (Well, it's not all that far-fetched; heraldry was designed as identifying insignia, after all!)

Continuing my ramble around the streets of Canterbury, England, I ran across the following sign for Hadfield's of Canterbury, designer of fine jewelry:

It was more than just the shape they chose for their sign (a "heater", or shield shape), it was their hallmark:

Within the octagonal horizontal cartouche bearing the figure of a lion passant.

Lions passant are a fairly common heraldic motif; not as common as lions rampant, of course, but a quick review of "Beast - Lion" in Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials will quickly turn up quite a number of them.

Is this heraldry? Strictly speaking, no, it isn't. But it is certainly related to heraldry and coats of arms on more than one level, and I felt I had to include it in this review of the heraldry I saw in Canterbury that day.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Some Heraldic Humor for April First

For April Fool's Day, here's a few of my favorite cartoons about/including heraldry collected over the years: