A heraldically literate teenage boy. Be afraid.

 
Kenneth Mansfield
 
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Kenneth Mansfield
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18 August 2010 09:39
 

Seems like maybe a plate between two stars would be more appropriate. wink

 
 
Joseph Staub
 
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Joseph Staub
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28 August 2010 00:31
 

And must one use the same arms for one’s whole life?

If these arms inspire him to knightly qualities - and even if they don’t - I say go for it.  The first arms I designed for myself would make the average American high school arms look positively charming.

 
Joseph McMillan
 
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Joseph McMillan
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28 August 2010 09:43
 

Joseph Staub;78845 wrote:

And must one use the same arms for one’s whole life?


I would say, ideally, yes.  Which is one of several reasons one ought not to rush things.  Was it Michael McCartney who said, "Blazon in haste, repent at leisure?"

 
Peter Harling
 
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Peter Harling
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29 August 2010 05:36
 

And hopefully give many generations to come, both male and female, a sense of ‘belonging’ to a family unit. A coat of arms is all about family and their relationships to one another.

Regards ..............  Peter

 
Joseph Staub
 
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Joseph Staub
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29 August 2010 16:15
 

I must respectfully disagree with both Joe and Peter, while acknowledging that their points are well taken.

People change their names, their looks, certainly their possessions (as markers of their life stage or social status). Even someone’s arms may be altered by augmentation, etc. People in countries with established heraldic authorities may change their arms, I believe.

 

Having said that, I agree it isn’t likely he’ll want that skull when he’s a family man himself.  But, as someone in the thread said: these days, who knows?

 

>And hopefully give many generations to come, both male and female, a sense of ‘belonging’ to a family unit.

 

Depending on his life’s path, maybe it will. (Of course, that may not be his intent, see below.) Look what the Plantagenets did for the common broom, Napoleon for the humble bee, the Romanovs for their double-headed eagle, which, but for heraldry, would be just another mutant.

 

We often discuss how “biographical” arms may, for a number of reasons, be less than desirable.  One of these reasons is that such a coat takes the events of one life – mundane or not – and burdens future generations.  “From my arms you can see that my great-great-great-grandfather was an aerospace engineer who loved badminton, attended the University of Central Texas, and played the glockenspiel.”

 

So, if one arms doesn’t always fit multiple lives, perhaps some lives need multiple arms.

 

 

>A coat of arms is all about family and their relationships to one another.

 

I concede that many, if not most, people would agree. But not all.  He might want that arms to simply be scary, or just irritate people, or attract girls, or impress his buddies.  All valid reasons, however much nobility or ignobility we assign to them. It’s all heraldry, even if there’s a line between a rampant fox, proper, and a rampant Megan Fox, improper.

 

Kudos to the lad.

 
Patrick Williams
 
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Patrick Williams
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29 August 2010 19:56
 

Joseph Staub;78856 wrote:

“From my arms you can see that my great-great-great-grandfather was an aerospace engineer who loved badminton, attended the University of Central Texas, and played the glockenspiel.”


I so want to see those arms! wink

 
Joseph McMillan
 
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Joseph McMillan
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29 August 2010 21:16
 

Joseph Staub;78856 wrote:

People change their names, their looks, certainly their possessions (as markers of their life stage or social status). Even someone’s arms may be altered by augmentation, etc.


Certainly we could agree that changing one’s name is a rather more serious and less common step than changing one’s looks, and certainly more serious and less common than changing one’s possessions.  Changing arms should be more like changing a name and less like getting a different hairstyle.


Quote:

People in countries with established heraldic authorities may change their arms, I believe.


I guess that’s up to the chief herald or king of arms, who may or may not insist on a good reason, and may or may not give the person who wants a change what he’s asking for.  He’ll also ding him for at least three grand, which probably serves to discourage flip-flopping.


Quote:

Having said that, I agree it isn’t likely he’ll want that skull when he’s a family man himself.


Which is why people should wait until they’ve achieved a reasonable level of maturity before doing something as serious as assuming arms.  One shouldn’t do this just to have a nifty design when playing knights in shining armor.  One of the best lines in the TV series Mad Men is when Don Draper tells the execrable Pete Campbell, " I know you want everything the minute you want it. Sometimes it’s better to wait until you’re ready."


Quote:

We often discuss how “biographical” arms may, for a number of reasons, be less than desirable. One of these reasons is that such a coat takes the events of one life – mundane or not – and burdens future generations. “From my arms you can see that my great-great-great-grandfather was an aerospace engineer who loved badminton, attended the University of Central Texas, and played the glockenspiel.”


Which, again, is why a person’s life should have some serious grown-up content before he assumes arms in the first place—to enable him or her to judge what accomplishments and interests are of enduring interest and which ones are transient.  When you adopt a coat of arms, you are establishing yourself as the founder of something that, barring vows of celibacy or the like, is intended to endure forever.  If you put something personal in it, you should be sure it’s something your grandchildren and 5xgreat grandchildren will not find ridiculous.


Quote:

He might want that arms to simply be scary, or just irritate people, or attract girls, or impress his buddies. All valid reasons.


No.  Sorry, no they’re not.

 
Peter Harling
 
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Peter Harling
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30 August 2010 15:34
 

Joseph Mc has has made the comments that I would support. I suppose really the whole approach to heraldry can differ so much that one can lose the true meaning and spirit of what it is all about!

To become a legal armiger in the UK one must take this step very seriously, in fact from a financial point of view alone it would not be wise to approach a herald with the same attitude that one would approach a hairdresser with a view to changing your hair style.

 

No, becoming an armiger brings with it a responsibility, for you are establishing a unique emblem (coat of arms), which by tradition will be passed on to your children and hopefully their children as the years go by.

 

The first question I was asked by Brooke-Little, Richmond Herald at the time of my application was "Why did I want to bear arms?" He required an answer that would hold good to the spirit of heraldry, would not compromise its very existence or devalue its respected position in UK society!

 

So Joseph, you can see why my approach to heraldry is so different from yours. I can only think that, and please don’t be offended by my comments, your distance from an heraldic authority has some bearing on your thoughts, which to me are quite alien to the approach here in the UK.

 

Regarding the actual design of arms here in UK .......... you are guided and advised by the herald every inch of the way, eg. I was advised at the outset not to use the shield for personal interest that would not "befit" future generations, but some recognition could be used in the crest as "founder" of the arms.

 

OK, all this is UK approach, and I do appreciate that on your side of the pond it’s different, but I do applaude your members here who try to keep heraldic standards and traditions high, rather than suggest a more whimsical "change your mind" at will approach.

 

Regards ..............  Peter

 
Michael F. McCartney
 
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Michael F. McCartney
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02 September 2010 21:38
 

Well, this is fun!—I can exalt or execrate "Joseph" and if I’m vague enough, no one will know which Joseph is which!

—except, of course, by their arms—which is the point.

 

Joe (lion passant) correctly attributes "blazon in haste, regret at leisure" or words to that effect, as mine—though like the refrigerator test (also my verbal coinage) the concept isn’t really original, just hopefully a catchy enough term to stick in the collective memory.

 

—gee, like arms!

 

The thoughts behind both phrases, and similar / better phrasing by others along the same line, all reflect the underlying purpose of heraldry—identification and identity, over time and space.  Certainly one’s level of maturity (hopefully), looks (unfortunately) and interests (for better or worse) do change over time and over generations—but there is a continuing identity that doesn’t change, in our lives and hopefully in that of our posterity.

 

That’s what Joe’s passant lion& stars etc., my stag & border—and for that matter Joseph’s barry dancetty—all express, even as we lose hair, gain weight and get older and grumpier.

 

I remember when Joseph first adopted his dancetty shield, years ago on line—then lost track of him, but instantly knew & welcomed him by that design before I read a word of his first posting here.  Arms best blazoned as "On an etch-a-sketch the doodle of the day" don’t serve that underlying purpose of bearing arms in the first place.