Many of you have seen or participated in Joe’s thread on the HHS forum cataloging all the Henderson arms of record in Scotland and elsewhere over the centuries. The basic design theme in most of them was piles issuing from dexter or sinister, or per pale indented or dancetty, and a chief with various charges, in a variety of color schemes. The collection ended with one example of recently assumed arms the Scottish tradition of indeterminate cadency. (Those new arms were recently added to the USHR site.)
I’m working on another possible new coat, in the same tradition, for a friend named Henderson that I’d like to share for comments here before proposing them to him. He is a retired USAF reserve officer, LTC IIRC, and now a drummer in a pipe band who sees himself as of Scottish roots though not traced. My goal is to create a design that alludes to the historic Henderson design theme with a color scheme and charges that are both unique and meaningful.
So FWIW, here goes:
Barry pily Argent and Gules on a chief nebuly Azure (or Bleu Celeste? ) a star of five points Argent pierced Gules between two oak leaves bendwise Argent.
The color scheme should be obvious. The nebuly partition line and the star with a red spot are USAF allusions. The two generic white (silver) oak leaves bendwise allude to his highest rank without directly copying the shape of the military rank insignia; his kids, siblings etc., can of course ascribe whatever symbolism they wish, and can vary the chief’s nebuly partition line and/or charges if they wish.
The Barry pily below the chief alludes to the usual Henderson design; one of the coats on Joe’s HHS collection (but only one) uses the same pattern, but in different colors. I picked it to have the field immediate below the chief be white, for visual contest. There is at least one historical coat with a field Argent three piles Gules issuing from the sinister that would accomplish the same contrast, but I wanted to avoid directly copying that existing field. Also, the Barry pily pattern alludes to, but doesn’t duplicate, the stripes on our flag. I should probably specify the number of repetitions - probably three or four; thirteen would be way too busy given the rest of the design.
So whadda y’all think?
Overall, I think it sounds good. My only comment is whether the design is almost too connected to the particular person. That may sound odd, but my thinking is that if he has children who never serve in the Air Force, are they inheriting arms that have no direct connection to them? If your friend has no children and doesn’t plan to, then the point is moot. But if the arms of my father had a lot of symbolism connected to his service in the Navy, I don’t know that I’d be interested in using them. Your almost forcing offspring to change the arms. MTC
I was trying to visualize Bary Pily and came up with this from SCA:
Having said that. Bary Pily with a Nebuly chief sounds really busy to me. I’d have to "see" it with fewer repetitions to not see it as busy..
I’m a bit hesitant about the "3 things in chief" Kind of like the chevron with 3 things around it.. I’d consider moving the rank allusion to the crest and leaving the chief blank…
If you read or post on the HHS site, look for Joe’s collection of Henderson arms which has one example of Barry pily - I hadn’t heard of it before that. It looked nothing like the SCA eyestrain.
I did look it up in Zieber’s Heraldry in America (pg 268, Fig 685, "Barry pily is composed of piles issuing from the side of shield and tapering and extending to the opposite side.") The figure shows four piles issuing from the sinister with the points touching the dexter side, which I take as the distinctive feature of Barry pily.
The Henderson armorial to which Mike alludes:
I believe the one blazoned as "barry pily" is the fourth one under "Other Houses."
Joe - many thanks! This is a beautiful example of research, design and execution!
Yes, the example of Barry pily is the fourth under Other Houses, George Henderson of Newcastle-on-Tyne.
For those with Scottish or Scotch-Irish roots, the Hendersons are a fascinating case study in the Scottish tradition of "indeterminate cadency" i.e. following the main design theme of the arms of the Chief of their Clan/Name, or absent a recognized Chief, any existing arms of the same surname; but with sufficient differences to avoid visually claiming a descent not (or not yet - hope rises eternal ) traced and proved. Not, of course, binding on Americans whatever their proven or supposed origins, but frequently followed here. The very last shield on the chart is an example of a recent assumption, with Joe’s assistance; clearly a "family" resemblance, but different enough to not claim a documented descent from any of the others.
On an historical note, the top section of the chart is a reminder of the fluidity of design within the same family over the early period of heraldry in Scotland, and elsewhere.