Help with Design Ideas

 
Dcgb7f
 
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Dcgb7f
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29 July 2015 16:39
 

Following in the footsteps of Fathers Guy and Dohrman, now that I’ve been given my own pastorate I thought I might design arms for the parish. We’ll see when I use them… I see no immediate application. In any case, I had a few ideas, but I wasn’t satisfied with any, so I want to open it up for input from the many creative minds here.

The parish is dedicated to St. Matthew the Apostle, evangelist, ex-tax collector, disciple of Jesus. Traditional symbols for St Matthew are an ax (for his martyrdom) and money pouches (for his tax collector conversion). The city it’s located in is Kansas City, Mo. From what I can determine, KCMO simply uses a stylized logo of fountains as its seal, so I thought perhaps alluding to the fountains of KCMO could be a way of individualizing the arms. Alternatively, the parish is very close to Longview Lake, one of the two big recreational lakes for the metro area.

 

Thoughts?

 
David Pope
 
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David Pope
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29 July 2015 17:12
 

Gules two axes in saltire, heads outwards Argent, hafted Or, between four money pouches Argent, tied Sable.

The blazon could probably be improved on, but I think you get my drift.

 
David Pope
 
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David Pope
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29 July 2015 17:19
 

Actually, a better design is probably Gules two axes in saltire, heads outward Argent, hafted Or, between two money purses in chief and base, Argent stringed Sable.

That gives more room for the axe heads and better balance of Argent and Or.

 
arriano
 
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arriano
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29 July 2015 17:32
 

Iris is the official flower of KC. Perhaps that could be included somehow

 
Dcgb7f
 
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Dcgb7f
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30 July 2015 00:42
 

I considered simple designs like that, David. My concern—-which might be unfounded—-is that after doing a lot of Google searching for stainglass windows and other depictions of Matthew’s arms all those simple designs are used. Of course, Matthew didn’t have arms so none is correct and none would be usurping, but on the flip side none is a unique identifier, which is what arms are supposed to be. I was thinking, then, that this new design should strive to be truly as unique as possible as if we were dealing with personal arms.

 
Michael F. McCartney
 
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Michael F. McCartney
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30 July 2015 04:18
 

Sounds like fun!

Since we’re looking beyond the generic axes and moneybags, two possible approaches come to mind.  One would be the name Matthew or however it was said in Hebrew, Armaic or Greek - what is the etymology, and does that suggest anything canting or allusive?  You should have a Bible Concordance and/or names for babies in your personal or parish library…

 

The other is the history, geography, goals, challenges and accomplishments of your new parish (congratulations by the way!).  Who were the parish founders and first / longest priests?  The first (or first RC) settlers?  Any old former names of the town or area, especially when the parish was first planted?  Any particularly noteworthy parishioners, or priests who moved up the ladder?  Any longstanding local parish customs, charities,  nicknames, architectural features, logos or other visual identifiers, favorite Biblical stories or sayings, etc., which are near and dear?

 

And on a practical level, who are the longstanding lay leaders and keepers of the collective memory of the parish?  They will be one of the best source of ideas, and involving them is key to this being a welcome and lasting effort rather than a quaint notion of Father What-was-his-name and who can remember what it was or where did we file it away?

 
mjsmith
 
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30 July 2015 12:14
 

It looks as though a man named Fran├žois Chouteau is known as the "Father of Kansas City, Missouri"  I’d be curious if he were armigerous.  If he were and the arms weren’t altogether hideous, that might be a good place to start.

 
Dcgb7f
 
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Dcgb7f
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01 August 2015 22:45
 

Well, to be honest, the parish doesn’t have that long of a history. It’s a suburban church with no magnificent architecture. Due to demographic changes the parish is on its way down and will be facing closure in the next decade or so.

The interior of the church, however, is painted rather prominently in blue and white so I was thinking that would be the main colors of the arms.

 

The name Matthew comes from a Hebrew name meaning "Gift of YHWH" and its Greek for is Matthaios. Christian tradition has at times equated Levi son of Alphaeus (Mk 2:14) with Matthew since both are tax collectors.

 

I don’t have any good resources for French arms unfortunately, but that could be an interesting path.

 
Joseph McMillan
 
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02 August 2015 07:13
 

I like the idea of the irises as representing KC combined with one or more of the attributes of St. Matthew.  They could also allude to the Virgin and vaguely to the French history of the European settlement of the area.  An executioner’s axe between three irises, something like that.

 
Michael F. McCartney
 
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03 August 2015 00:56
 

Or maybe two axes in saltire between a purse in chief and three irises in the flanks and base?

I don’t know what color an iris is ( no green thumb!) but if it’s white or yellow, maybe a blue field, white axes and purse, and the irises proper?  Or if the irises are yellow, the purse could be gold.

 

Or if irises are a darker color, then reverse the blue and white?

 

(If I were a less sensitive and diplomatic fellow, I might question whether axes are a great charge for a parish scheduled to be axed ... more seriously, if we could come up with a visual image suggesting gifts from God as canting arms…)

 
arriano
 
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arriano
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03 August 2015 17:30
 

Michael F. McCartney;104568 wrote:

I don’t know what color an iris is ( no green thumb!) but if it’s white or yellow, maybe a blue field, white axes and purse, and the irises proper?  Or if the irises are yellow, the purse could be gold.

 

Or if irises are a darker color, then reverse the blue and white?

 


Irises come in a variety of colors, but I think the most common is blue/purple

 
Michael F. McCartney
 
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Michael F. McCartney
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03 August 2015 23:49
 

So keeping with the blue (or at least bluish) & white theme, and hoping to at least allude to St Matthew and the other themes Joe suggests, several possible approaches or variations:

Argent an executioner’s axe between three irises Azure (or Proper)

 

Argent two axes in saltire between four irises Azure (or Proper)

 

Ditto with a purse in place of one or two of the irises

 

Argent on a pale Azure between two irises an axe…

 

Per Chevron Argent and Azure in chief two irises ... and in base an axe (or two axes in saltire) ...

 

Per chevron Azure and Argent in chief two axes ... and in base an iris ...

 

Either of the per chevron designs could have the partition line ensigned with a cross, or flory, at the peak.

 

Of course likely any number of other possibilities, just want to move the discussion along wink

 
Joseph McMillan
 
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04 August 2015 09:09
 

Of course, to the extent that the preferences of the parishioners matter in a Catholic church (and I know from experience that this varies from diocese to diocese and pastor to pastor), it may be worth having a cross in the arms.  It might be on a chief, or it could be something like [Metal] on a cross between four irises Azure an axe palewise (or money bags, or some of each) [metal].

 
Dcgb7f
 
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Dcgb7f
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04 August 2015 22:54
 

The irises could also allude to the diocesan arms. One could also grab the cross botony as well.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Roman_Catholic_Diocese_of_Kansas_City_St_Joseph.svg

I’m a bit unsure how nice two axes in saltire look in terms of how much they’d have to be sized down in order to fit them between all those charges.

 
Michael F. McCartney
 
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05 August 2015 05:22
 

Depending on the size & shape of the axe heads, you might need to limit other charges to top & bottom - e.g. two axes in saltire between two irises in pale, or an iris in chief and a cross botonnee in base or vice versa.

In the arms of the diocese are the white flowers blazoned as irises or lillies? I’m guessing lillies but am curious.

.

Other possibilities might be Quarterly Argent and Azure four lillies or irises counterchanged; or Per fess Argent and Azure two axes in saltire between two lillies in pale all counterchanged.  Or in either of these, reverse the colors.

 
Joseph McMillan
 
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05 August 2015 08:05
 

How the axes will work in saltire depends on the shape of the shield.  An alternative, if that’s a problem, would be one axe (I assume Matthew was executed with only a single axe), or to put two of them back to back.