Lucky charms heraldry

The term lucky charms heraldry sounds odd or even funny but, it describes a type of heraldry that has existed for centuries very accurately. The best definition of the term I can come up with is: Heraldry that includes an element to represent every bit of the armiger’s ancestry, religion, career, etc.

Lucky charms(fictional “lucky charms” shield)

The fictional shield above, however attractive it may appear to be, is an example of such heraldry. When designing it, I thought of the following regarding my fictional armiger:

  • He is of Irish descent, hence the tinctures Vert (green) and Argent (white) for the field.
  • He is an architect, hence the arches
  • He served in the Navy, therefore the anchor
  • He is an avid chess player, therefore the chess rook
  • While in the Navy, he served in Alaska. He also currently resides in Alaska, therefore the 2 snowflakes
  • He was born in the Chinese Year of the Dragon, hence the dragon
  • He is a devout Christian and has made the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, hence the coquille (sea shell)
  • He owns a vineyard, hence the grape leaf
  • As a further allusion to his Irish heritage, he used the colors of the Irish flag (green, white and orange) on the bottom side of the shield. Orange exists in heraldry as the stain tenné.

As you can see, this is a bit much…. The arms are overly complex, the blazon too complex and there is no point in having so much on a coat of arms. I’ll attempt to blazon the arms: Per fess Vert and Argent in chief a double arch Sable masoned Argent above two snowflakes above in dexter a chess rook and in sinister an anchor Argent, in base a dragon Vert between a coquille and a grape leaf tenné.

As mentioned in the conclusion of the guide on designing your own coat of arms, the most basic rule to follow in any new design is to keep things simple. A coat of arms should convey what enough to know the armiger without being a full life story or curriculum vitae.

It should also be generic enough that the armiger’s descendents, even 200 years later, will still feel a relationship to the shield. Imagine if the great-great-….-great grandson of the armiger, 200 years in the future, feels absolutely no affinity to Ireland, is allergic to wine, is a Buddhist, gets easily seasick and lives in Florida?


4 Comments

  1. […] in January, I had written about “lucky charms” heraldry and had dreamt up an shield that had everything but the kitchen sink in […]

  2. Fae says:

    I had to laugh at these observations:

    He is an architect, hence the arches
    He served in the Navy, therefore the anchor
    He is an avid chess player, therefore the chess rook
    While in the Navy, he served in Alaska. He also currently resides in Alaska, therefore the 2 snowflakes
    He was born in the Chinese Year of the Dragon, hence the dragon

    I’m not a historian or anything, but I find it funny that modern terms and/or things discovered in the “New World” would be present in the coat of arms in such an old family (since you did mentions ‘centuries’). But it is your own design and your own observations. I’ll go and try designing my own coat of arms.

  3. kimon says:

    I had to laugh at these observations:

    He is an architect, hence the arches
    He served in the Navy, therefore the anchor
    He is an avid chess player, therefore the chess rook
    While in the Navy, he served in Alaska. He also currently resides in Alaska, therefore the 2 snowflakes
    He was born in the Chinese Year of the Dragon, hence the dragon

    I’m not a historian or anything, but I find it funny that modern terms and/or things discovered in the “New World” would be present in the coat of arms in such an old family (since you did mentions ‘centuries’). But it is your own design and your own observations. I’ll go and try designing my own coat of arms.

    I take it you didn’t notice the bolded fictional liberally strewn about?
    The article is meant to be a guide on what not to do.

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