Maryland Flag



This is one of my all-time favorite examples of some gorgeous heraldry – and the fact that I grew up in Maryland (where the official state sport really is jousting) is icing on the cake (and to be sure, that cake is a Smith Island cake)…


So far as I know, this is the only American state flag to use heraldry from English gentry: the Calverts (the black & gold) and the Crosslands (the red & white). Leonard Calvert (father of George Calvert, the 1st Baron Baltimore) married Alice (or Alicia) Crossland; when she died in 1587 (George Calvert being about 8 years old at the time) Leonard Calvert married Grace Crossland, Alice’s cousin. Many places in Maryland take their names from this family – Baltimore itself, Leonardtown, Calvert County, Calvert Cliffs State Park, etc etc.

I find it interesting that the arms of the two families are joined twice; ordinarily, when denoting a marriage, the wife’s arms appear on the viewer’s right (as shown in the upper half of this flag). This is a very balanced way to present the heraldry of both sides of the family. I wonder if having the two Crossland devices bespeaks of the two marriages.


The Stowe Armorial


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As I consider what my arms (for the Adrian Empire) will look like my husband advised I stick to simple arms. I got to looking at some of the more complex historical arms out there, and found this – the Stowe Armorial.

The Stowe Armorial coat of arms is the centrepiece of the Gothic Library at Stowe. The Library was commissioned by George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham (See Viscount Cobham), and built to a design by Sir John Soane between 1805 and 1807. The armorial is a 1.4m diameter heraldic painting of the 719 quarterings of the Temple, Nugent, Brydges, Chandos and Grenville families, including ten variations of the English Royal arms, the arms of Spencer, De Clare, Valence, Mowbray, Mortimer and De Grey. The painting is signed and dated P. Sonard 1806.

I cannot imagine what the herald who painted this went through – the headaches…

Wow. Absolutely amazing.

Hubby’s Heraldry


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OK well, as medieval re-enactors, my husband and I are both armigerous; we can bear arms at our events. My husband has earned his knighthood in ministry, and has created the arms shown above as his own arms. Simple and elegant. The blazon is as follows: “Sable, on a bend Argent three crosses pattee fitchy Sable.”

I am a member of the Order of the Royal Star of York – therefore I can bear arms as well. I have not created my arms yet, but I do have a design in mind that incorporates a quill pen, ink pot and paper. I need to learn to draw this.

For more information on our medieval re-enactment group, go here:

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Heraldry


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File:Coat of Arms of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.svg

So lots of people are really excited about the upcoming royal birth – the child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I found this image of the heraldry of the Duchess of Cambridge; here’s a little blurb on it:

The Duchess bears the arms of her husband, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, impaled with those of her father, Michael Middleton. The coat of arms was granted to Middleton by the College of Arms on 19 April 2011. Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms, the senior officer of the College of Arms, helped the family with the design. The Duchess of Cambridge’s coat of arms denotes that Catherine is the daughter of Michael Middleton and the wife of the Duke of Cambridge.

Adopted 19 April 2011

Coronet: Coronet of a child of the Heir Apparent

Escutcheon: Quarterly 1st and 4th Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or armed and langed Azure (England), 2nd Or a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure within a double tressure flory counterflory of the second (Scotland), 3rd Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (Ireland), the whole differenced with a label of three points Argent with the central point charged with an escallop Gules (Prince William); Impaled with a shield per pale Azure and Gules, a chevron Or, cotised Argent, between three acorns slipped and leaved Or (Middleton).

Supporters: To the dexter the Lion as borne and used as a Supporter by “Our Dearly Beloved Grandson His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales Duke of Cambridge” and to the sinister a Hind Argent unguled and gorged with “a Coronet of Our Dearly Beloved Grandson’s degree Or”. The hind is white (argent) and is hooved, unguled and has about its neck (is gorged with) the Duke of Cambridge’s coronet. Both the hooves and coronet are gold (Or).

Symbolism: The dividing line (between two colours) down the centre is a canting of the name ‘Middle-ton’. The acorns (from the oak tree) are a traditional symbol of England and a feature of west Berkshire, where the family have lived for 30 years. The three acorns also denote the family’s three children. The gold chevron in the centre of the arms is an allusion to Carole Middleton’s maiden name of Goldsmith. The two white chevronels (narrow chevrons above and below the gold chevron) symbolise peaks and mountains, and the family’s love of the Lake District and skiing.

Previous versions: Her previous coat of arms depicted the shield from her father Michael Middleton’s coat of arms shaped into a lozenge hanging from a blue ribbon symbolising her unmarried state. Her sister Pippa also uses the same lozenge-shaped coat of arms. In due course her brother James will inherit his father’s full coat of arms.

Here’s wishing Catherine well…I’m sure that, even with all the great medical care she will have when her time comes, she’s still nervous as it is her first child. I’m rooting for a boy for their first kid (I have no doubt others will come in time), and I think a good name for a son would be Michael Philip Charles.

But that’s just me! 🙂