Please Note: All images acquired from the internet and used in fair reporting.
And the last topic in innovative American Heraldry is the topic of Mantling. Now, IF one desires alternative headgear, mantling is pretty much inappropriate. There appears to be a primary offering with some lesser or specialist offerings:
Flags being used either with or without helms and mantling is not new or innovative. Using basically the same flags for all arms being done is not common. Most displays have flags in existence or representative of the person’s arms. We see flags pretty often in Spanish governmental heraldry. I did manage to find a display of US organization arms with flags as part of the display artistry and the TIOH obviously is using it’s banners (I am unsure if these are considered supporters or just banners to either side):
The use of flags in this way is not such a bad idea. However, using the same Or flags may or may not compliment the arms in question. The perfect example is above in the Per saltire sable and Or. Here we have a visibility problem. If the flags are being used to replace mantling as the artist claims in social media, perhaps livery colors (I know, I know) could be chosen or they could represent mantling by using the traditional mantling colors for the arms.. (the per saltire could have flags per fess Or and Sable to enhance visibility).. as it stands, this appears to be "cookie cutter" or "mass production" heraldry - same thing for each person - one size fits all heraldry. Which is unfortunate and falls short of the idea of arms representing the individual. I’d be more in favor of perhaps a personal banner and a badge banner (again, I know, badge banners have been the subject of some debate) on either side of the shield similar to the TIOH arms - and who could one take a better "lead" from in the US than the only existing authority (even though they don’t cover individual arms)?
The other two options. I have to say, the one with the ribbons is just a tad too "Fourth of July" to my tastes. And, as I’ve mentioned in other threads.. the academic regalia, done properly for the individual and institution is not all that bad of an idea, IMHO.
I agree. Thumbs down on the gold flags.
I also dislike the surname scroll. This seems like a confirmation of the American bucket-shop phenomenon, which may very well be the target audience for these emblazonments…
I’m told that surname scrolls are somewhat common in some continental European arms.. but, I believe they are quite redundant. Your arms are your "name."
Personal opinion only, but to my mind adding flags willy-nilly, without some particular significance, just adds visual clutter and takes focus away from the arms (shield) itself. That may or may not rise to the level of impropriety, but strikes me as undesirable.
There may be some situations in which such a display might be warranted for personal arms - maybe at the bearer’s funeral using flags of some great personal significance - but IMO not for regular everyday use by living persons.
Of course others may disagree.
I don’t have a problem in principle with the use of flags that mean something. Whether it’s a good idea in specific cases has to be considered case by case.
I do have a problem with using flags that mean nothing. Granted there are some elements in heraldry that mean nothing—the mantling, for instance—but that has the excuse of tradition. Why introduce a meaningless innovation?