Check of a Blazon

 
jschotz
 
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jschotz
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23 February 2011 17:40
 

Hello:

I am new to the forum and hope that someone can look over the work I have done on a coat of arms.  I have designed a coat of arms with a family member and have made my first attempt to blazon the design.  I was hoping someone could assist in checking it to see if it correct?

 

The image is here: https://sites.google.com/site/italiandocument/home/blazon/coatofarmsKS.jpg

 

Here is the blazon I wrote up:

For the Shield: Per fess by a bar wavy Azure, three mullets Or, in chief Sable a Castle with three towers Or, in base Gules an arm embowed in armor fesswise Or holding a torch Or;

 

And for the Crest: On a wreath Gules and Sable, a Griffin sejant affronte elevated, dexter talon maintaining a Saint Florian Cross Azure, sinister talon maintaining a Masonic*Square and Compasses with a G.

 

I appreciate this forum.  I am looking forward to making this a hobby…It piques my interest.

 

Thanks.

J

 
Iain Boyd
 
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Iain Boyd
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23 February 2011 22:02
 

Dear Mr Schotz,

Welcome to the society and the forum.

 

A more correct blazon is -

 

"Per fesse wavy sable and gules, a fesse wavy charged with three mullets or, between in chief a triple-towered castle and in base an arm embowed and armoured holding a torch enflamed all or."

 

Of course, even this blazon can be ‘tweeked’ and ordered differently.

 

However, may I suggest that you consider changing the fesse from azure to or and the mullets from or to azure. It is not considered good heraldry to place a ‘coloured’ charge (in this case, the fesse) on a coloured background. If the colour scheme is important, it can be overcome by dividing the shield into three equal parts - in which case, it could be blasoned "Tierced in fesse wavy, sable, azure and gules ...".

 

I like the seated griffen in your crest, but, I am not really ‘taken’ with the charges it is holding. In my opinion, the griffen is going to get very tired holding such large and awkwardly shaped charges.

 

All the best,

 

Iain Boyd

 
arriano
 
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arriano
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24 February 2011 13:21
 

Iain Boyd;81531 wrote:

Dear Mr Schotz,

A more correct blazon is -

 

"Per fesse wavy sable and gules, a fesse wavy AZURE charged with three mullets or, between in chief a triple-towered castle and in base an arm embowed and armoured holding a torch enflamed all or."

 


Left out a tincture.

 

And I agree with Iain, you might try making the fess wavy either Or or Argent so that you don’t have color on color. See info about "rule of tincture" under "2.1.1. The Shield" in the "Guidelines for Heraldic Practice…"  - http://www.americanheraldry.org/pages/index.php?n=Guide.Guidelines#toc2

 
werewolves
 
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werewolves
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24 February 2011 14:12
 

Another option would be to add a fimbriation to the fess.

Something like:

Per fess Sable and Gules, a fess wavy Azure fimbriated Or charged with three mullets between in chief a triple-towered castle and in base an arm embowed and armoured holding a torch enflamed all Or

 
Iain Boyd
 
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Iain Boyd
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24 February 2011 15:12
 

Thank you, Arian, for correcting my suggested blazon. It was rather late here when I replied.

Regards,

 

Iain

 
jschotz
 
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jschotz
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24 February 2011 15:56
 

Thank you very much for all of the input and evaluation.  It was my first attempt at all of this.

I like the suggestion with the fimbriation and I will see what it looks like.  So, "a colored object—one that is black, red, blue, green, purple, etc.—should not be placed on a colored field."  Now that I see it in my design, I see it now.  Thank you for that.

 

Again, thank you for all your comments.  I learned a lot!

 
Jeffrey Boyd Garrison
 
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Jeffrey Boyd Garrison
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01 March 2011 21:26
 

The masonic square and compass seem inappropriate placed in the crest being that free masonry is an order of sorts and orders (and their degrees) would be displayed outside the shield and crest if at all.

Also, isn’t masonic custom to limit public adornment to rings?  Hence, the subtle forms of recognition between masons which don’t exclude identification by the lay folks?

 

Not to be critical in a negative way, just adding thoughts in order to attempt assistance. smile

 

Also, I like the suggestion such that the fess and field colors don’t break the tincture rule without adding fimbriation (fimbriation is hard to identify at great distance; I like to imagine being identified in a formation of knights by your shield alone, would the fimbriation be notable?  That’s just my personal opinion though)

 

Oh, let’s see… there could be more subtle ways to reflect masonic affiliation… sable and argent checkerboard pattern on the field (which solves your tincture problem because chequey acts as color and metal).

 

Another, divide the field per pall sable and argent to symbolize pillars J and B?

 

Blue lodge can be symbolized by blue… a ton of subtle allusions really… and of course templar crosses would be appropriate.

 

Anyhow, sorry about my stream of conciousness babbling, I’ll cut this post short, haha.

 
Michael F. McCartney
 
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Michael F. McCartney
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02 March 2011 20:48
 

Just reviewed the original illustration & noticed the full-blown masonic emblem—compass, square & "G" - in the eagle’s left talon.  This seems inappropriate—among other things, other family members & descendants may not also be Masons and the crest, if used in this form, is therefore at best misleading.

 
jschotz
 
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jschotz
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03 March 2011 10:17
 

Hello again.  Thank you very much for your input.  I will be removing the masonic symbol and looking at the other suggestions on how to incorporate the Masonic image.  smile

 
Michael F. McCartney
 
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Michael F. McCartney
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03 March 2011 15:44
 

On a broader note, how much Masonic stuff—or any other organizational symbolism—do you really need in personal arms?  Assuming (which I normally do) that the arms are or should be appropriate for a wider group—descendants, siblings, perhaps ancestors "in memorium"—membership in most organizations is personal, not hereditary, & IMO would be better shown externally—e.g. the corners of a bookplate or whatever.

My opinions of course…

 
Jeffrey Boyd Garrison
 
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Jeffrey Boyd Garrison
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03 March 2011 17:09
 

The basic point of masonic symbolism is not to advertise membership, but to convey meaning to its members based on their degree of initiation and ability to apprehend the symbols personally.  Thus, having specific masonic symbols that serve no other task than to advertise membership is contrary to the purpose of the symbolism in the first place.

That being said, vague allusions to spiritual concepts of which those symbols refer could be imaginatively captured in arms without actually misusing them to advertise affiliation.  The symbolism could be illustrated with basic heraldic charges which would have meaning only to the one who chose to read such into the achievement.

 

In my opinion a mullet would be acceptable, but a pyramid with an eye at the apex would not. :mullet:

 
Jay Bohn
 
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Jay Bohn
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03 March 2011 17:31
 

Michael F. McCartney;81580 wrote:

On a broader note, how much Masonic stuff—or any other organizational symbolism—do you really need in personal arms? Assuming (which I normally do) that the arms are or should be appropriate for a wider group—descendants, siblings, perhaps ancestors "in memorium"—membership in most organizations is personal, not hereditary, & IMO would be better shown externally—e.g. the corners of a bookplate or whatever.

My opinions of course…


I agree. Also, there is a difference between appropriating someone else’s symbol as an integral part of the arms (or crest), which is a form of usurpation, and displaying an additiment, such as an order or decoration. Further, section 2.2.3.7 of the Guidelines provides:


Quote:

Awards and insignia of membership conferred by private organizations, including lineage societies, professional associations of a military character, and Scouting or similar groups, are not customarily depicted as part of armorial achievements in the United States, unless the rules of the organization concerned expressly provide for such display. In that case, they are normally used only in the context of the organization’s activities.


A fortiorari such insignia should not be an integral part of the arms (or crest).

 
jschotz
 
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jschotz
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05 March 2011 08:26
 

Thank you again for all of the feedback and education.  I appreciate all of the commentary and guidance.  I am going to replace the symbol with a templar cross. I feel that would be appropriate. :cool:

 
Doug Welsh
 
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Doug Welsh
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30 March 2011 04:15
 

There are many, many ways to express adherence or connection without being overt, or "in your face".  Generally speaking, Masonic Jurisdictions look negatively on "too public displays".  Bumper stickers on cars or trucks, specific design license plates where allowed by States, hat and cap badges, blazer crests, rings, even tattoos are all welcome in most places but most also specifically prohibit the use of overt Masonic symbology to indicate, for example, that the owner of a business is a Freemason of any Degree.  Templar crosses are over-used, even by modern Templars, and can easily lead viewers to other than accurate conclusions.

Look very carefully at what you want your arms to say, and remember that, once assumed, they become a pictorial representation of YOU, and if you’ve done it right, they will someday represent your heraldic heirs down the generations.  We have a thing called "The Fridge Test", which involves putting a drawing of what you are thinking of in some prominent place in the house where you will see them every day.  Leave them up for a couple of weeks and just let them "be".  Then after a suitable period, take them down and look at them, and ask yourself if they are ready to be engraved in a gold ring or carved in a stone mantelpiece, or painted on a large canvas and hung over the couch in a fancy frame.  My arms went through many changes before I was satisfied with them, as did the arms of more than one of the other folks on this forum.  Take your time, read all you can about heraldry, and play with the elements, try different shapes or combinations or colours.  There are old sayings about "Decide in haste, repent at leisure".

 

Doug Welsh

Past Grand Historian, GLNS

 
Joseph Staub
 
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Joseph Staub
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01 April 2011 11:30
 

I think the right place for "bio-devices," if they must be had, is the crest, and of course the badge. In my opinion, better than the shield, in most cases.  Cannot crests and badges be changed relatively easily by those who inherit arms, after all?

For instance, the grizzly bear in my crest has far fewer associations for my daughter.  I would imagine she’ll have a different crest.  (When she little she wanted a rampant kitten, an idea she’s outgrown, being 12,  but which still appeals to me!)

 
Michael F. McCartney
 
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Michael F. McCartney
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01 April 2011 15:41
 

If not your grizzly, how about a teddy bear?—think of it as artistic license (or indulgence—after all, what are children for?:) ) which she may or may not outgrow…