Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Cambridge Union Society and the University's Coat of Arms

So last time, we looked at some of the ways the University of Cambridge uses its arms in and about the City of Cambridge. This time, we're going to look at its use as part of the badge of the Cambridge Union Society (usually just referred to as the Cambridge Union), founded in 1815, a debating and free speech society at the University.

And because the opening ceremony of the conference we attended in Cambridge was held at the Cambridge Union building, we saw many instances of the Cambridge Union badge, which has the arms of the University prominently placed at its center.

And here, in no particular order, we find:

I did find it a bit disconcerting, taking photographs of what I thought was the arms of the University, only to find out on closer inspection that a number of them were, in fact, the badge of the Cambridge Union. Still, if you look carefully, they are easy enough to differentiate. All of the Cambridge Union badges clearly state either around the shield (for the oldest one) or on a scroll beneath the shield, "Cambridge Union Society", and most of the depictions also give the year of the establishment of the Cambridge Union, 1815.

So there you have it! Not the arms of the University of Cambridge per se, but the badge of the Cambridge Union Society which merely incorporates the arms of the University.

Big difference. Big difference. Huge. </Sarcasm off>

No, I get it. I really do. I understand why they have done this.

I just don't necessarily agree with it personally. But there you go; they never asked me before doing it, and I have to assume that they don't care a fig for my opinion about it now.

Pardon me, while I go off to tilt at some other windmill now.

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