Thursday, December 28, 2023

Have I Been Doing Heraldry Too Long?

It always makes me ask, whenever I see a coat of arms (or a heraldry-like logo) and can tell you right away whose coat of arms (or logo) it is: Have I been doing heraldry too long?

In this instance, I was driving around the west side of Dallas, Texas, when I ended up behind a vehicle that bore a coat of arms in the rear window. And even before I got close enough to make it out in detail (or to take the photograph below), and even though the arms are in monochrome here, I thought to myself, "That's the arms of FC Barcelona." And as you can see, I was correct!

So someone is a big Barcelona fan!

According to Wikipedia, "Futbol Club Barcelona, commonly referred to as Barcelona and colloquially known as Barça, is a professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, that competes in La Liga, the top flight of Spanish football."*

An here is their logo in full color:

Anyway, as fun as it always is to see heraldry out "in the wild", again, based on my immediate recognition of this coat of arms/logo as that of FC Barcelona, I have to ask: "Have I been doing heraldry too long?"

* When I say "football", I do not mean the North American game called "football", which given its rules and the ovoid shape of its "ball" really ought to be called something else, like "handegg". Just sayin'.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Some Arms on the Exterior of York Minster

Arriving at York Minster,* formally the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, one of the things that you notice is a frieze running across the façade consisting of a number of different shields.

Across the top picture, from left to right, I believe we have: St. Peter (crossed keys); a blank shield; St. Paul (two swords in saltire); St. Peter again (as the first Pope, with the crossed keys surmounted by a papal tiara); and St. Wilfrid (three suns, and whose arms we have seen before in my post of November 9 (, and which we will see again inside the Minster).

Across the bottom picture, from left to right, we have: an unidentifiable shield; St. Paul; St. Peter as Pope; St. Wilfrid; St. Peter as Pope (again); St. William of York (seven mascles conjoined three three and one); and two shields unidentifiable from being worn away. St. William was Archbishop of York not once, but twice: first from 1141 to 1147 and then again from 1153 to 1154.

And here are close-ups of some of these shields. (Of course, you an also click on the images above to see a larger, more detailed photo of the rows of shields.)

First, St. Peter:

and St. Paul:

and St. Wilfrid:

We will meet more reprresentations of these three attributed coats of arms inside the Minster as well.

* Why is it not called a "cathedral"? By definition a cathedral is the site of a bishop's throne (a cathedra) but the word "cathedral" did not come into use until after the Norman conquest. Hence, "minster", a large or important church, typically one of cathedral status in the north of England that was built as part of a monastery. And now you know.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

We-e-e-e-e're Off to See the Minster ...

The wonderful Minster of York.
We found it is an heraldic whiz
Just brimming with co-oats of arms.

I'm sorry about the title (and the first few lines of this post), but when I get a song in my head (in this case, from the movie The Wizard of Oz), and modify the lyrics, I sometimes can't get it to stop until I go ahead and sing it, or in this case, type it up to share with others. I apologize for inflicting you with this malady of mine.

Anyway, having finally now finished up our heraldic tour of the old City of York, we headed off to the cathedral, York Minster, which, as you can see (below), literally towers over the inner city.

As we came closer, we found a modern logo-style version of the modern arms of the See of York:

The arms of the See of York (ancient) are effectively the same as the arms of the See of Canterbury, Azure, an episcopal staff in pale or surmounted by a pall proper edged and fringed or charged with four crosses patty fitchy sable, though sometimes shown with a red field instead of the more common blue.

The modern arms of the See are Gules two keys in saltire wards to chief argent in chief a royal crown or, which came into use about 1520. (So not all that modern, being about 500 years old. It is always fun, as an American, to visit someplace where something 500 years old is called "modern" to differentiate it from something even older!)

As we get inside the Minster, we'll get to see depictions of both the ancient and modern arms of the See.

Then, as we came nearer the Minster, we found this "modern" heraldic wall and gate:

On the left of the gate, we have the attributed arms of St. Peter, Gules two keys in saltire wards upwards argent and or.

And on the right, we have the See of York (modern), Gules two keys in saltire wards to chief argent and in chief a royal crown or, impaling the pronomial arms of Arthur Purey Cust, Dean of the Cathedral 1880-1916, Ermine on a chevron sable three fountains proper, for difference in chief a martlet sable.

Feel free to click on either of the images above to open a larger photograph where you can see the arms in greater detail.

Again, a little later, inside the Minster, we will get to see another version of the arms of Dean Cust.

So we have all of those, and many more, to look forward to!

Monday, December 18, 2023


I just love it when two (or more) of my interests come together in a single package!

In this specific instance, it was the combination of secret agent "Bond. James Bond", and heraldry, into something comfortably wearable.

It was my running across an advertisement for The London Sock Exchange, which has created a line of 007 socks. Most of them were okay, but not all that interesting to me. Until ... they showed a set of two pairs of socks related to the book and movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service with (1) the arms of Sir Thomas Bond, Bt., and (2) the arms of de Bleuchamp to which 007's arch-enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld was trying to establish a claim.

And I have written about both of these coats of arms before on this blog: The Bond arms back in 2009 ( and again in 2015 (, and the de Bleuchamp arms in 2009 (

So, as a heraldry enthusiast, and a James Bond enthusiast (why, yes, I do own all of the Fleming 007 books and all of the movies -- even the "non-canonical" ones like the David Niven-Peter Sellers Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again -- on CD or Blu-Ray. Why do you ask?), well, you can see that I pretty much had to buy these socks as an early Christmas present to myself.

And they arrived from England just a few days ago, as you can see below, sitting atop the 007 tissue paper they came wrapped in.

Now all I have to do is wait for an appropriate time or event to wear them!

Merry Christmas to me!

Thursday, December 14, 2023

One Historic Site, Two Different Coats of Arms: Part Two

The other way to get to the Merchant Adventurers Hall in York is to go via the Gatehouse on Fossgate.

Not as old as the Merchant Adventurers Hall, the Gatehouse is mid-17th century in origin, with the doorcase and coat of arms over it added in 1854.

There are two different but similar coats of arms on the Gatehouse. The first, on the sign hanging in front of the Gatehouse, is once again the arms of the Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York. However, there is at least one subtle difference between this coat of arms and the one over the gate in front of the Hall which we saw in our last post.

Have you noticed it? The Pegasus on the arms on Piccadilly Street make the wings blue; here the wings are less obviously blue, and they are charged with a white rose.

Now here's a photo of the Gatehouse and the arms over the door:

These arms on the Gatehouse are those of The Company of Merchant Adventurers of London, a trading company founded in the City of London in the early 15th century. The company had members from York, Norwich, Exeter, Ipswich, Newcastle, Hull, and other places. The merchant adventurers of these towns were separate but affiliated bodies.

These arms, in a molded surround and painted high-relief carving are: Barry nebuly of six argent and azure, a chief quarterly gules and or on the first and fourth quarters a lion passant guardant or on the second and third two roses gules barbed and seeded proper. The crest is A pegasus rampant argent charged on the wings with two roses gules. The shield is supported on each side by A pegasus argent charged on the wings with two roses gules seeded or. Beneath, and serving as a compartment on which the supporters stand is the motto: Dieu nous donne bonne adventure (God give us good adventure).

And isn't that some very ornately carved mantling behind it all!

And there you have it! The historic Merchant Adventurers Hall, with two ways to approach it, and two different but similar coats of arms denoting the Merchant Adventurers of York and the Company of Merchant Adventurers of London with whom they were affiliated.

Monday, December 11, 2023

One Historic Site, Two Different Coats of Arms: Part One

There are two way by which to get to the historic Merchant Adventurers Hall in York.

Definition: A Merchant Adventurer was someone who risked or ‘adventured’ his or her own money in overseas trade in the hopes of bringing home goods and wealth. Indeed, it was just such a group of Merchant Adventurers, English investors, whose capital funded the Pilgrims' voyage to America on the Mayflower in 1620.

The first, of course, is just to walk down Piccadilly Street until you come to the Hall itself. (We will cover the other way in our next post.)

As you can see from this photograph, the Hall is hard to miss, even if you don't see the coat of arms to let you know that you have arrived.

The Merchant Adventurers Hall in York was built between 1357 and 1361, earlier than most of the craft or trade guild halls in Britain, and is one of the largest buildings of its kind and date in England. More information about the Hall, including some photos of its impressive interior, can be found on-line at

Naturally enough, there is a coat of arms over the main gate to the site.

This is the coat of arms of the Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York: Barry wavy of six argent and azure, on a chief per pale gules and azure a lion passant or between two roses argent seeded or. And for a crest: On waves of the sea barry wavy argent and azure a Pegasus rampant argent winged azure.

The symbolism of the arms is all pretty obvious: the waves of the sea, over which the ships they financed sailed; the chief red and blue from the Royal arms, with a lion of England (even though not passant guardant as are the lions in the Royal arms); and two white York roses. The crest, too, symbolizing the long distances the ships they financed had to travel over the seas.

Next time, the other way to get to the Merchant Adventurers Hall, and a different-but-similar coat of arms there.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Some Even Less Heraldic Heraldry-Adjacent Logos

Plus, the dreaded "empty cartouche"!

Following on our last post containing some "heraldry-adjacent" business logos, today we're going to visit some even less heraldic, but vaguely heraldry-adjacent" business signs.

First up is the roughly shield-shaped logo of The Star Inn:

The shield itself is shaped rather like a turret on a city wall, complete with embattlements on top. This makes some sense, really, since it's not that far from the old city walls of York.

And the design is really nearly blazonable in heraldic terms, discounting the angle and embattlement of the tope of the shield: Or a pale sable overall a mullet of six points argent, or perhaps, gyronny argent and sable.

Next, we have the "well, if you put it on a shield it might be heraldry" shop sign of the Mali Unisex Hair Salon on Colliergate in York:

Again, it's an arrangement that could be blazoned if it were placed on a shield: An open pair of scissors points downward surmounted in base by a straight razor chevronwise inverted [or, reversed] all proper.

In any event, it is a shop sign in the classic tradition, a visual means of advertising the services offered quickly and understandably, without the need for words or explanatory text. I mean, I knew what the shop offered just from the sign, without even knowing its name or having to look in the window to see.

And isn't that the underlying premise of all good heraldry?

And finally, we come to the frequently seen, but to a heraldry enthusiast, highly annoying, motif: the dreaded "empty cartouche".

This one is on the façade of the Grand Hotel, part of which we have looked at before because of its very colorful North Eastern Railway heraldry.

But higher up, we find this:

An empty cartouche. Complete with a carved frame and flanked by palm fronds.

A blank canvas, really, just waiting for someone to come along and put some heraldry into it.

It's a shame, really, but I've complained about such empty shields and cartouches here often enough in the past. And the temptation remains, to get a tall ladder and some paint and draw a coat of arms into the frame.

But, alas, my wife will not let me climb up on tall ladders anymore, and the civic authorities look upon such improvements as a form of "vandalism", so all I can do is stand and ground level and think about what might have been, or what could be with a little daring willingness.

So much potential for a wonderful display of heraldry, only to be let down by what is effectively a blank wall.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Some Heraldry-Adjacent Business Logos/Signs

Of course, the Cross Keys (which we saw last time) is not the only business, or even the only type of business, to be identified in York, England, with a sign which is more or less heraldic.

Here are three examples:

First up, Barclays Bank.

Barclays logo, now a modern, highly-stylized eagle displayed azure, has always included the eagle, but it has changed over the years. You can find an historical review of how their logo has changed over the years on-line at

Next, we come to the Blue Bell Pub and their (if it were heraldic, obviously canting*) logo:

I really can't add anything to the photographs above; they pretty much say it all.

And then we come to the Westgate Hair Lounge (or as their sign notes, "Hair and City Spa"):

Westgate's logo is clearly meant to invoke heraldry, consisting as it does of a large letter W in place of a shield, supported by two lions rampant, and surmounted in chief by a Marquess' coronet.

I find myself troubled the most by this display of sort-of heraldry. The lack of a shield means it really isn't heraldry, but with the lion supporters and, more especially, the marquess' coronet, we are clearly meant to take it as heraldic. But we cannot do so, because it is so clearly not heraldry. It seems they are trying to get the cachet of heraldry without making something truly heraldic.

* Franklyn and Tanner's An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry informs us that canting arms are "an achievement in which the description of the figures is homophonous with the name; a rebus, or pictorial pun, also described as 'armes parlantes', and, er[roneously], as 'allusive arms'."

Or, as another old saw has it: "Heralds don't pun, they cant." (Not the lack of an apostrophe in the last word; it is deliberate.)

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Cross Keys: Wards Upward or Wards Downward?

The Cross Keys pub gets a brief mention in the "Public House Signs" section of the book Heraldry and the Buildings of York, noting that the original, which had opened in the first quarter of the 19th century, was demolished and the present one constructed in 1904, which date is commemorated in the panel set into the brickwork over the main entrance.

What the book does not mention, but which certainly caught my attention, is that the sign over the door and the sign in the guise of a coat of arms in the brickwork higher up, differ as to the orientation of the crossed keys: the latter has them with their wards upwards (the most frequent orientation for keys), while the former has them with their wards downwards. Not entirely unlike the line from the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz: “Of course, some people do go both ways.”

As a consequence, though, you can see both orientations on the building there.

First, a couple of photographs of the building from two different angles:

And now for the close-ups. First, the sign, of the keys with their wards patently downwards:

And now, the same logo placed on a shield higher up on the façade of the building, of the keys with their wards just as patently upwards:

Which of these two orientations is the correct one?

I personally do not know, but if it came up for a vote, mine would go to the (presumably older) depiction in the brickwork just below the 1904 date.

Just sayin'.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Once Again, You Can Find Heraldry Everywhere!

Well, today is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States, a major holiday where we take a day off from work and celebrate (or not) with family and stuff our faces with turkey (or ham) and, as they say here in the South, "all the fixin's".

Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among most religions after harvests and at other times of the year. The Thanksgiving holiday's history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. In the English tradition, days of thanksgiving and special thanksgiving religious services became important during the English Reformation in the reign of Henry VIII.

An annual thanksgiving holiday tradition in North American colonies is documented for the first time in 1619, in what is now the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The more familiar Thanksgiving precedent of feasting is traced to the Pilgrims and Puritans who emigrated from England in the 1620s and 1630s. They brought their previous tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England. The 1621 Plymouth, Massachusetts thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. The Pilgrims (among whom were three of my own ancestors) celebrated this with the Wampanoags, a tribe of Native Americans who, along with the last Patuxet, had helped them get through the previous winter by giving them food in that time of scarcity, and taught them how to grow their own food in a climate that did not necessarily favor the seeds they had brought from England.

Later, President of the United States George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration marking November 26, 1789 as "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God".

A Thanksgiving was proclaimed for all states in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln. Influenced by New Englander Sarah Josepha Hale, Lincoln set national Thanksgiving by proclamation for the final Thursday in November in celebration of the bounties that had continued to fall on the Union and for the military successes in the war, also calling on the American people, "with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience .. fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation..."

On October 31, 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a presidential proclamation changing the holiday to the next to last Thursday in November in an effort to boost the economy by giving people an extra week to shop for the Christmas holiday. (Today, of course, we start seeing advertisements for Christmas around Halloween, October 31.)

But enough of the background of today's holiday, and on to its raison d'être, that of giving thanks.

And what am I thankful for this year?

I am thankful to have something that I have long said be confirmed once again: You can find heraldry (or heraldry-like objects) everywhere!

I have recently begun a new exercise routine, one which includes going to a nearby walking trail here in beautiful downtown Duncanville, Texas.

It was on my first circuit of that trail a short while ago that I went by a construction site surrounded by temporary fencing, upon which was a remarkably heraldry-like logo:

For a blazon (because I could find no background information or explanation of this logo on their websites), I would have to go with: Argent a Viking affronty wearing a horned helm and a cloak all sable within a bordure or the chief portion sable.

Now, all that is not to say that I think it's really great heraldry by any means. The bordure is mostly metal on metal, thus reducing its contrast, and the main charge on the shield is not especially distinguishable, so to my mind it rather fails at accomplishing what good heraldry should be; that is, a means of quick and easy identification.

Still, it is sufficiently simple and unique, and so probably serves its purpose well enough.

So there you have it! I am thankful today that I can still be surprised, and gratified, by finding heraldry and pseudo-heraldic logos everywhere! Even in a public park in a small suburban town in Texas.

Monday, November 20, 2023

More Alcohol-Related Heraldry: Pub Signs

Today's three heraldic stops on our tour of York, England, all have to do with the heraldic signs of three different pubs in the old city. I am going to treat them in alphabetical order, which also happens to be the order in which we go from least truly heraldic to most heraldic. Isn't it nice that it works out that way?

First up, the Golden Fleece inn and pub, whose sign is, obviously enough, a golden fleece.

Now, that is one very fat golden ram!

The Golden Fleece is mentioned in the York city archives as far back as 1503. The building it is in, though, was rebuilt in the 19th Century. And it claims to be the most haunted public house in York, and featured on an episode of Most Haunted. More information about the Golden Fleece can be found in its entry on Wikipedia at,_York

Then, we have the Golden Lion.

There are two different heraldic items on the Golden Lion's sign.

The first and most obvious is the lion's head cabossed or.

The other, less "in your face", is the crest atop the Greene King sign, Two arrows in saltire enfiled by a coronet or

Greene King is a brewery established in Bury St. Edmunds in 1799. You can learn more about the history of this company at

And, of course, more about the Golden Lion can be found on the internet at

Finally, we come to the most heraldic pub sign (even though the heraldry is not entirely accurate), the Duke of York.

Their website,, doesn't give us anything about the history of this pub, beyond letting us see that it is owned by Leeds Brewery Duke of York.

The arms shown on the sign are clearly those of the Plantagenet and Tudor kings and queens of England: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure three fleurs-de-lys or (France modern); 2 and 3, Gules three lions passant guardant in pale or (England).

These arms could refer to Edward Plantagenet, 4th Duke of York of the first creation, who seized the throne in 1461 as King Edward IV, when the title Duke of York merged in the crown; or to Henry Tudor, Duke of York of the third creation, who succeeded to the throne in 1509 as King Henry VIII, when the title merged in the crown.

(The second creation, in 1474, was to Richard of Shrewsbury, younger brother of King Edward V, who disappeared, and is believed to have been killed with his brother in the Tower of London during the reign of his uncle, King Richard III.)

The fourth (in 1605) and subsequent creations (most recently, in 1986 of Prince Andrew) would have used different arms that would have included Scotland and Ireland and dropped France.

All that said, technically speaking, the arms shown here are the arms of the King (or Queen) of England; the arms of the Duke of York in any of those creations had a charged label to difference them from the arms of the Crown: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure three fleurs-de-lys or (France modern); 2 and 3, Gules three lions passant guardant in pale or (England); overall a label argent charged with nine torteaux [red roundels].

Anyway, all in all it's an interesting display of heraldry, which can also teach us a little bit of history if we're willing to do a few minutes of research.

And that's all to the good, don't you think?

Thursday, November 16, 2023

More Alcohol-Related Heraldry

After looking at the two heraldic logos of the York Brewery, today we're going to see what other alcohol-related heraldry (and heraldry-adjacent logos) we saw during our stay in York, England.

First up is another brewery, The Black Sheep Brewery, whose logo is really only heraldry-adjacent (though it would make a decent heraldic badge, without the lettering surrounding the ram's head.)

As a badge, I would blazon this as: A ram's head couped facing to sinister sable horned and marked argent.

While not heraldic in the strictest sense, it certainly functions well as an identifier, which really is one of the underlying basics for a coat of arms.

You can see more examples of The Black Sheep Brewery logo on their website at

Next up is another quasi-heraldic logo, this one for the Firestone Walker Brewing Company:

The Firestone Walker Brewing Company (whose website is, I found out, is a California-based brewery. It was founded in 1996 by Adam Firestone ("the Bear") and David Walker ("the Lion"). I suppose it's California, U.S.A. origin shouldn't have surprised me all that much, since the bear and star are most likely to be taken from the flag of the State of California (

They don't seem to have any blazonable tinctures for their logo; it all seems to be done in shades of tan and brown. Still, a decent blazon for it can be made: A demi-lion and a demi-bear combatant, in sinister chief a mullet.

Finally, we came to the most heraldic of our examples today, the Pivni World Beer Freehouse:

I am not familiar with the names of all of the implements on their cartouche-shaped shield, though I am certain that all of them have to do with brewing. A blazon (without the names of the tools) would probably include that there are two in saltire surmounted by one in pale, overall two more in saltire, but that's a very "rough and ready" blazon, since the two sets which are "in saltire" do not overlie each other except in the very center of the shield, their differing angles allowing them to be seen (and identified) more easily.

For the rest, there is a generic crown above the shield, and the shield itself is being supported by two St. Bernard dogs. The scroll beneath the shield is the year the building they are in was built, 1597. Pivni was established here in 2007, according to their website: (

Next time, some heraldic pub signs seen in York!

Monday, November 13, 2023

Fun With Brewery Heraldry

York Brewery, not surprisingly based in York, England, displays in places around the city a couple of different heraldic logos that I quite frankly found to be of interest.

One of them is a beautifully simply, yet meaningful design, which we found just across the street from our hotel in York:

It's blazon is remarkably simple: Argent a pall gules. The colors are patently based on the arms of the city, with its white shield and red cross, and the design, as anyone looking at it can see, places a bright and bold red "Y" for York on the shield.

Clear, easy to identify, using just two colors (white and red), and consisting of a field and a single charge. It doesn't get much better than that for heraldry.

The other is a little more complex, but also clearly points to the brewery's ties to the City of York:

You can see the same arms from the first location used here on the base of the sign over the entrance and another just to the left of the door of The Three-Legged Mare, above.

But it was also the other coat of arms on the face of the building that caught my eye.

Here, the emblem is clearly based on the arms of the City of York, but here they have changed the charges on the cross, five lions passant guardant or, to five tuns [or casks] or. The full blazon would thus be: Argent on a cross gules five tuns or.

Again, beautifully simple (albeit a little more complex than the first) arms, with clear references both to their location in the City of York and to their business of brewing beer.

It isn't often that you can find heraldry that says so much so clearly and simply. Would that more heraldry could be like this!

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Can You Figure Out the (Singular) Blazon from These (Multiple) Emblazons?

Today's conundrum: How are the attributed arms of St. Wilfrid blazoned? And can you get to that blazon from five (well, really four, because two of them are the same) emblazons of those arms?

Because, frankly, those varying emblazons are all (except for the two matching ones) significantly different.

First, the three found wandering the streets of York, England; the one, and then the two matching ones:

Then, this one, found on the exterior of York Minster:

And this one (on the right) from the interior the Minster:

So, knowing that these different depictions are all supposedly those of the attributed arms of St. Wilfrid, how would you blazon his arms?

Take and minute and think about it.

Feel free to click on any of the images above to go to a larger photo to look at them more closely.

How are these arms blazoned?

Just from looking at them, I would blazon the first one as: Azure three mullets of six points argent.

The next two (the matching ones), and assuming the same tinctures, I would blazon as: Azure three mullets of eight points argent.

The third, from the exterior of York Minster, and the fourth, from the interior, are blazoned by Hugh Murray in Heraldry and the Buildings of York, and by Y.E. Weir in A Guide to the Heraldry of York Minster, as Azure three estoiles or.

The difficulties, in my own mind, are:

1. Mullets (of however many points) are not the same heraldically as mullets;

2. Estoiles are generally of six rays, while those here pretty clearly have seven; and

3. Estoiles do not have, as they seem to in the last image, circular centers.

Going out onto the internet and looking up other images of the attributed arms of St. Wilfrid, the majority tend to follow the pattern of Azure three estoiles of seven rays or.

But I have to wonder, should they really be suns? (Yes, I am well aware that suns are generally depicted with alternating straight and wavy rays. Still, that seems a little more likely than seven-rayed estoiles. But what do I know?)

Anyway, it's a bit of a puzzle, one that leaves us all a little something to think about.