Not long ago, SGM Doug Childs requested that I assist in designing a badge and banner to go with his arms. I advised him to stick with a banner that followed the design of the arms rather than going with a badge or crest banner. So here’s what I created:
For a badge, I asked if there were any charges that he would have liked to have included in his arms, but didn’t. He stated that he would have liked a celtic cross or Irish harp. I thought that a combination of the charges in his arms into a labarum (his crest) would make a very nice badge and he agreed.
My first attempt combined the axes from his arms (to form the "chi") with a celtic cross (to form the "rho"). My second attempt combined the crossed axes with the torch (Argent for contrast). We both like both versions, so he has asked me to post them here and find out what y’all think.
(Click on the pics for larger versions.)
The banner is wonderful. My first thought when seeing it is that it is the flag of a Vichy French Regiment of Scouts but this should not be viewed as a bad thing though as French military heraldry (especially flags) is some of the smartest in the world in my own opinion.
For a badge, why not just the crossed axes? Badges were originally very simple—a knot, an escallop, a sprig of brush plant. I’ve never understood the compulsion to devise complicated badges. It’s not like they have to be unique, just distinctive.
Joe, I agree, the simpler the better. The idea was to hint at a labarum. Here’s a couple more that ideas that were mentioned:
The idea behind the red "Rho" in Version 3 is to symbolize the blood of Christ. Version 4 simply repeats the "red, white, and blue" theme in the arms.
I’ve added a poll just to see what people like best.
Thanks for the input.
I think the charges that compose the badge should all be of two tinctures, Gules and Azure, so that the badge may be used on a field Argent. If one uses Argent in the badge it makes its display on a flag of any sort more difficult.
Thank you so much for your assistance with this project. I appreciate everything that everyone has said and is doing to help me.
As a couple of you are already aware, my unit is scheduled to deploy this year and I am looking forward to leaving a heraldic legacy to my sons before I leave.
This is a great forum. Thank you all again.
"Look Always to the Sky"
Okay, SGM Childs agrees with the majority and likes #2 the best. He asked me to draw-up some alternate versions of #2 with wings and wreaths. I gave him 5 different versions and he really likes following version:
I have advised him that he can register the badge as originally designed and include the wreath as "artistic license". Of course, he could just register the badge as shown here, wreath and all, since he likes it so much. What do you all think?
I’ve also included a full achievement for him:
Click on the pics for larger versions.
That’s all for now. :D
I like that badge more than any in the poll, and I liked #2 in the pole.
My only complaint/suggestion/advice would be the same as David’s. The torch and flame should not be Argent, so that it can bedisplayed on a white background properly. I would suggest a Sable torch and a gulles flame. I know this would be a tincture violation as the axes crossed on the torch, however I think it would show up a lot better on an argent background.
Sergeant Major Childs, I hope that you are able to return safely so that you can pass on this fine tradition, as well as the knowledge, wisdom and family traditions that come with being a father, on to your children. Be safe and be strong as you heroically serve this country.
Lose the wreath, and go with two tinctures for the elements of the badge.
WARNING: The following is a rant and should be taken with a grain of salt. I include it only because I have heard the same comments about my own badge for some time now and would just like to "vent" a little. For those easily offended, please stop reading now. Thank you.
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I don’t understand why people have a problem with an Argent badge. I, personally, have an Argent badge and I think it looks fine. I display it as "silver" or "grey" when on a white background, but to tell you the truth, the backgrounds that I normally display it on are anything but white. There are many reasons for me choosing Argent for my badge, the least of which was because I originally wanted to have a custom silver pin and pendant made of the badge, but that’s neither here nor there.
What if SGM Childs badge were displayed on a red, blue, or green background? Would the tinctures need to be revised in those cases? Certainly not. They might be a shade or two lighter or darker than the background for contrast, but they wouldn’t be changed. The same is true for Argent. I colored the torch "grey" instead of leaving it "white" for this exact reason.
There are many historical badges that were Argent. The white hart of King Richard II and the bear and ragged staff of the Dukes of Warwick are two famous ones just to name a couple.
Just for the sake of argument, I have included a version of the badge with Gules axes and Azure torch, and one of Azure axes and Gules torch.
(Click on the pics to enlarge.)
Personally, I don’t like these color combinations. They are too hard on my eyes. I think the Argent separates the two darker colors of red and blue very nicely.
Okay, I’ll step off my soap-box and end my rant now.
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As far as the wreath is concerned, SGM Childs likes it (even if included only by "artistic license"), so it will probably stay. I guess my question with that is, "should he include it in a blazon or just leave it as an option for the artist?"
If the task of the heraldic artist is to emblazon what is described in the blazon, than I would have to say, "Yes, include it, if you expect to see it." I do not believe "artist license" includes adding a charge (and the wreath would be an additional charge) to an already assumed (and possibly registered) blazon. Does the SgtMaj want the wreath? To me this would appear to be a "yes" or "no" question. (Of course, I stand ready to be corrected on this if someone believes I am in error.)
If the task of the heraldic artist is to emblazon what is described in the blazon, than I would have to say, "Yes, include it, if you expect to see it." I do not believe "artist license" includes adding a charge (and the wreath would be an additional charge) to an already assumed (and possibly registered) blazon.
I was thinking of "artistic license" as was taken with our societal arms when emblazoned by Mr. Alex Kurov, but I see your point, also.
Does the SgtMaj want the wreath? To me this would appear to be a "yes" or "no" question. (Of course, I stand ready to be corrected on this if someone believes I am in error.)
Yes, the SGM wants the wreath.
I just wanted to pose the question to everyone else and see how others felt about it.
Thanks for the responses. :D
You make a good point about the badges Phil. I personally would still change it, but it is not my badge.
I definantly don’t like the Azure and Gulles Torches
Philip and friends of the Society,
The following comments are meant to be "light hearted". I try not to take myself too seriously and I really enjoy and respect the views of the members.
Thank you very much for helping me with my badge. I’ve decided that I like version number 2 and I’m sticking with it. Many people have weighed in and many different opinions were expressed with various reasons behind them.
At the end of the day I choose asthetic and artistic license because…well dog gone it…I just simply prefer it that way. If heraldry is a means to identify oneself…then I think one should choose how they want to be identified. I believe in basic rules as a starting place. They are a guide to keep some form of continuity but, at the same time, if heraldry is to survive and thrive…it would seem to me that some flexibility needs to be allowed for growth. Otherwise at some point…all achievements would eventually look like someone elses. Now maybe the inclusion of a wreath adds to the "sameness" of the look of many others but still…maybe I should call it my "logo" instead of my "badge"...LOL
I hope you will continue to follow your "minds eye" when designing and helping others to refine thier ideas and discover the wonderful beauty of heraldry.
As an American I particularly enjoy the freedoms we have fought so hard to protect and that have allowed us to maintain some distinction from, yet connection with, the old world.
I believe that symbols and words have meaning. Colors have meaning as well…at least in my mind. And honestly, using the charges of my badge to allude to the crest of my achievement, the inclusion of a wreath symbolizes for me a crown of thorns and completes the labarum idea I was going for.
The full achievement you rendered for me deserves to keep the badge you used in that rendition.
The other versions…I think I can use for different purposes as I see fit.
I guess for me the next question remains: How would the blazon for the badge read?
Look Always to the Sky
I would like to post both Philip Blanton’s and Sandy Turnbull’s renderings to the Armorial page if I could please.
From Sandy: (btw thank you for doing this!)
Wanted to show the Arms my wife chose. Designed by Philip Blanton finished by David Wooten: