Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Or, a chev. erm.

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

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Souche Coat of Arms Meaning

The main device (symbol) in the Souche blazon is the chevron. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and ermine.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.1. 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 2. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.3.

Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century 4 It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found 5. The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.6. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 7, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.8. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 9, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

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References

  • 1 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 2 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 3 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 4 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39
  • 6 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28
  • 7 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
  • 8 The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
  • 9 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45