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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Ostfrise - Coupé au 1 d'azur à une fleur-de-lis d'or au 2 d'or à un coeur de gueules Casque couronné Cimier une fleur-de-lis d'or entre deux personnes fendus d'azur ch chacun d'une fleur-de-lis d'or les hampes du mêmePer fess 1st azure a fleur-de-lys or 2nd or a heart gules Crowned with a helmet Crest: a fleur-de-lys or between two harvesters [? men with scythes? the French says "people who cut"] azure each charged with a fleur-de-lys or the shafts [of the scythes?] of the same.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Meckenaborg Coat of Arms and Family Crest

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Meckenaborg Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Meckenaborg blazon are the heart and fleur-de-lis. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, or and gules .

Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 1. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 2.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.3. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 4. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.5.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”6. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 7. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).8

The heart is represented by the conventional symbol that we see today on playing cards. In later arms it can also appear emflamed and crowned. 9 Guillim, the 17th century heraldic author, believes that it shows the holder to be a “man of sincerity…who speaks truth from his heart”. 10

The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. 11. The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul”12 and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms 13

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References

  • 1 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 2 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
  • 3 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 4 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 5 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 6 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 7 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
  • 9 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Heart
  • 10 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P184
  • 11 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3
  • 12 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134
  • 13 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489