Archive for March 2010


Wikipedia is a great online resource when looking for a quick answer. However, it shouldn’t be used as a definitive source. Though most criticisms are around the “everyone can edit” part, and I agree completely, I also have issue with the argument Wiki-editors make that Wikipedia is about “verifiability” and not truth. (citation)

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been a Wikipedia editor since September of 2005 and have about 13,000 edits.

As I said, Wikipedia is great for a quick answer or to get a general idea about something. It’s also great to use as a starting point for more in depth research, as the sources referenced can be very reliable (not always though).

However, Wikipedia is just about what can be verified by citing “objective” sources. This means that if anything that has ever been published about something is a complete fabrication, then that is what’s going to end up on Wikipedia.

An example would be for me to write about you on this blog saying that you are a polygamist and eat babies. Since this is a published source, then it will be used in an article on Wikipedia about you. Nice huh?

To make this post related to the subject of the blog, i.e. heraldry, I must bring up the excellent work done by the WikiProject Heraldry and Vexillology. Though the members of this group have contributed greatly to the heraldic wealth of Wikipedia, their greatest contribution (in my humble opinion) is the artwork. The very talented computer graphics designers have created the emblazons for many of the blazons in the online encyclopedia for the world to see. The best part is that these images are freely distributed without any copyright limitations (beyond the normal abuse of another’s arms).

As you may have noticed from past blog posts, I have reused these images many a time and you can do the same. Just make sure to give credit where credit is due.

This repository of heraldic images may be of interest to some of you. I know it has been immensely useful to me as a source of clipart:

Forum of the Swedish Heraldry Society Hacked!

Yesterday (March 11, 2010) the Swedish parliament voted in favor of a resolution to recognize the mass murder of over a million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I as a massacre.

Some time today (March 12, 2010), the forum of the Swedish Heraldry Society was hacked by a Turkish hacker in retaliation for the vote.

However, since my day job is in IT, I can say that it’s a lame hack probably done by script-kiddies. They didn’t even touch the main page of the Society itself, just the forum.

Why on Earth would they target an irrelevant site like a heraldic forum?

Then again, this guy doesn’t appear to have an IQ sufficient enough for critical thinking…

Commemorative coin for Queen Margrethe’s 70th birthday

The Royal Danish Mint has announced a new set of coins to commemorate HRH Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s 70th birthday.

The coins in question (the reverse of the gold 1000 kroner coin is shown above) are heraldic in nature and masterfully designed. Coins are being minted in .90 gold, .999 silver and circulation coins in both proof and mint conditions.

The commemorative coin will be presented at Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød 15th March 2010 and can then be viewed on a special exhibition in the palace museum in the period 10th April – 1st August 2010.

It is a special pleasure to present this coin, as the reverse was designed by the most excellent heraldic artist and Royal Herald Artist Ronny Andersen. A young and very talented artist that I had the honor to write an article on him about a year ago on February 23, 2009.

In a post he wrote at the forum of the American Heraldry Society, Ronny said that the daisies of the background are the personal and informal symbol of Her Majesty (daisies are also known as marguerites) . The combination of the Royal Arms along with the daisies are a combination of Her Majesty’s personal and formal sides.

The coin can be (pre)-ordered directly from the relevant page on the Mint’s website.

Note: Image from the website of the Royal Danish Mint!OpenDocument

The end of an era – Blog de Heráldica

On February 20th, 2010 what in my opinion has been the best blog on heraldry in any language, Blog de Heráldica, posted its final entry.

The blog was maintained by the Spanish Air Force Major José Juan Carrión Rangel, a knight of the Cofraternity of San Fernando (Hermandad de san Fernando) and certified by the Spanish Armed Forces as a military herald. A man I have the honor of calling a friend.

Over the period of time that the blog was active, it was the forum where some of the top heraldic experts of the Spanish speaking world congregated.

Who can forget the discussions on the lack of a national Chronicler of Arms and the potential for a future one. Or the most interesting essays by the Marquess de la Floresta, shining a light on all things heraldic in Spain. Or even the ongoing discussions on the Order of St Lazarus.

It is no small feat that the publication of the Heraldry Society of England, the “Coat of Arms” recognized it, a non-English blog, among the top blogs on heraldry.

It was José Juan’s blog that inspired me to start my own and I modeled mine after his. However, I was unable to keep up with him with the daily and sometimes more frequent updates.

It was this frequency of updates that tired him and understandably so. I know I can’t do it and I’ve tried! It is hard to do so with the busy schedule he has and a family!

I do sincerely hope though that he reconsiders his decision to retire from the blog world and return with his postings but, with a more reasonable frequency. Perhaps weekly or monthly.

The heraldic world is a small one and with the silence of his blog, heraldry online will be much poorer.