GreekChat.com Forums

Go Back   GreekChat.com Forums > Greek Life

Greek Life This forum is for various discussion topics regarding greek life. If you are posting a non-greek related message, please do so in one of the General Chat Topic forums.


Register Now for FREE!
Join GreekChat.com, The Fraternity & Sorority Greek Chat Network. To sign up for your FREE account INSTANTLY fill out the form below!

Username: Password: Confirm Password: E-Mail: Confirm E-Mail:
 
Image Verification
Please enter the six letters or digits that appear in the image opposite.

  I agree to forum rules 

» GC Stats
Members: 199,005
Threads: 108,940
Posts: 2,112,776
Welcome to our newest member, softball
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-23-2009, 12:49 PM
naraht naraht is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Rockville,MD,USA
Posts: 2,400
Coat of Arms vs. Crest

I've found that my National Fraternity (Alpha Phi Omega) is *very* confused about the terms "Coat of Arms" and "Crest", using the terms interchangably to refer to the Coat of Arms.

Heraldically, the crest only applies to anything attached to the top of the helmet in a Coat of Arms.

Does anyone else else have this issue?

Randy
__________________
If Felony charges are filed, it isn't a misunderstanding.
Reply With Quote

Please contribute to help with the costs of running GreekChat.

Donations can be made via PayPal or Fundly.

Everyone who chips in towards this GreekChat fundraiser will have a GC premium membership added to their account (or extended, for those who already have GC premium memberships). [discuss]

  #2  
Old 11-23-2009, 01:03 PM
Senusret I Senusret I is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 12,864
Yes, this is often a confusing issue in Alpha Phi Alpha as well. Our "coat of arms" is properly called "The Fraternal Design."



I ALWAYS call it the Fraternal Design, not only because that's how I was taught, but because when you say Fraternal Design, there should be no mistake.

---------------------------

The Shield of the Fraternity is used on shingles, official correspondence, banners, etc -- any official fraternity thing used by officers or chapters to represent the organization and IS NOT wearable.


Most people call this the shield. But is it really a shield? I don't know. I often call it the "seal" because of its uses, but that may be wrong too.
__________________
I am proud that my last post on this site was telling Kevin to suck my dick.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-23-2009, 01:22 PM
DrPhil DrPhil is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 13,852
In other words, what nonmembers usually see in reference to Alpha Phi Alpha is the Fraternal Design (coat of arms).

Terms that often need clarification for members (some of these are different words for the same thing):
Coat of arms
Shield
Crest
Seal
Badge
__________________
"Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it."
~ George Carlin
"Don't believe everyone's story. Always know different sides of the story. You will be surprised."
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-23-2009, 01:27 PM
IVY BEAUTY IVY BEAUTY is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 1908 Ivy Lane
Posts: 90
ok
__________________
~~~~I LOVE MY AKA~~~~
BEAUTY & BRAINS.......UR THREAT
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-23-2009, 01:33 PM
Senusret I Senusret I is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 12,864
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPhil View Post
In other words, what nonmembers usually see in reference to Alpha Phi Alpha is the Fraternal Design (coat of arms).
-
Yes, except in those rare occasions that you find a pre-1950 rogue fraternity sweater with the "wrong" emblem on it.
__________________
I am proud that my last post on this site was telling Kevin to suck my dick.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-23-2009, 01:40 PM
MysticCat's Avatar
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: A dark and very expensive forest
Posts: 12,413
Quote:
Originally Posted by naraht View Post
I've found that my National Fraternity (Alpha Phi Omega) is *very* confused about the terms "Coat of Arms" and "Crest", using the terms interchangably to refer to the Coat of Arms.

Heraldically, the crest only applies to anything attached to the top of the helmet in a Coat of Arms.

Does anyone else else have this issue?
It's not just a GLO thing, it's an English usage thing. "Crest" is commonly used as a synonym for coat of arms on both sides of The Pond, despite the fact that it is an incorrect usage. A synecdoche, perhaps?

GLOs are no different from the rest of society. Some GLO are careful to use coat of arms, others use crest, others use both, and still others (like Alpha Phi Omega or Alpha Gamma Delta) use a different phrase altogether, like "The Fraternal Design" (thanks, Sen) or "Armorial Bearings."

The heraldist in me typically insists on using "coat of arms" (or simply "arms"). But the pragmatist in me is inclined to refer to specific GLO arms using the terminology employed by that GLO if it matters to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senusret I View Post

Most people call this the shield. But is it really a shield? I don't know. I often call it the "seal" because of its uses, but that may be wrong too.
Within traditional heraldic design, it's definitely a shield -- a somewhat stylized shield, but a shield nonetheless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPhil View Post
Terms that often need clarification for members (some of these are different words for the same thing):
Coat of arms
Shield
Crest
Seal
Badge
Heraldically speaking, none of these are different words for the same thing, though in common usage they may be. "Shield" (escutcheon) and "crest" are components of a "coat of arms."

A "badge" (heraldically) is a seperate (and simpler) emblem that may be related to but is distinct from a coat of arms, and that serves as a personal or collective emblem.

A "seal" properly speaking is an emblem that may or may not include part of all of a coat of arms (or badge) that is used to attest to the authenticity of a document.
__________________
AMONG MEN HARMONY
1898
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-23-2009, 01:49 PM
DrPhil DrPhil is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 13,852
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticCat View Post
Heraldically speaking, none of these are different words for the same thing, though in common usage they may be.
__________________
"Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it."
~ George Carlin
"Don't believe everyone's story. Always know different sides of the story. You will be surprised."
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-23-2009, 01:52 PM
MysticCat's Avatar
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: A dark and very expensive forest
Posts: 12,413
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPhil View Post
I know, I know.

But since this whole thread is predicated on correct usage vs. common usage, I figured I might as well say it.
__________________
AMONG MEN HARMONY
1898
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-23-2009, 04:33 PM
Gusteau Gusteau is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,775
I saw this thread title and thought, "Where's MysticCat?" LOL

In Delta Chi it is correctly referred to as the Coat of Arms. Unfortunately many members refer to it as the crest. Most of the Associate Members in my chapter, however, learn very quickly not refer to it incorrectly around me lest they incur the wrath of God.
__________________
"Delta Chi is not a weekend or once-a-year affair but a lifelong opportunity and privilege"
- Albert Sullard Barnes
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-23-2009, 05:58 PM
MysticCat's Avatar
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: A dark and very expensive forest
Posts: 12,413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gusteau View Post
I saw this thread title and thought, "Where's MysticCat?" LOL
I know -- I thought of you, too. The title just sucked us in, didn't it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by naraht View Post
Heraldically, the crest only applies to anything attached to the top of the helmet in a Coat of Arms.
I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but a coat of arms can, and often does, have a crest without a helmet. Among GLOs, think Beta, FIJI, Sigma Chi, Kappa Sig, ATO . . . .
__________________
AMONG MEN HARMONY
1898
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-23-2009, 06:10 PM
Psi U MC Vito Psi U MC Vito is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: nasty and inebriated
Posts: 5,716
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticCat View Post
I know -- I thought of you, too. The title just sucked us in, didn't it?
I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but a coat of arms can, and often does, have a crest without a helmet. Among GLOs, think Beta, FIJI, Sigma Chi, Kappa Sig, ATO . . . .
Then again a lot of GLOs violate a lot of the rules of heraldry in their CoAs.
__________________
And he took a cup of coffee and gave thanks to God for it, saying, 'Each of you drink from it. This is my caffeine, which gives life.'
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-23-2009, 06:56 PM
MysticCat's Avatar
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: A dark and very expensive forest
Posts: 12,413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psi U MC Vito View Post
Then again a lot of GLOs violate a lot of the rules of heraldry in their CoAs.
True, but helmets are not usually considered essential elements in coats of arms. It is, I think, quite common to omit them in corporate, as opposed to personal, arms.
__________________
AMONG MEN HARMONY
1898
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-23-2009, 07:11 PM
Psi U MC Vito Psi U MC Vito is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: nasty and inebriated
Posts: 5,716
I actually got a question for the heraldry nerds of GC. The Psi U coat of arms has an owl perched on a fasces suspended over the shield. Would the owl be considered the crest and the fasces standing in for a helm or torse?
__________________
And he took a cup of coffee and gave thanks to God for it, saying, 'Each of you drink from it. This is my caffeine, which gives life.'
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-23-2009, 07:39 PM
Gusteau Gusteau is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,775
I would say that with Psi U, the owl would be considered the crest and the fasces, though unusual, would be considered the torse. What do you think MC?

ETA: I thought about it and another possibility would be to consider the owl perched on the fasces to be the crest and for the coat of arms to have no torse. Hmm...
__________________
"Delta Chi is not a weekend or once-a-year affair but a lifelong opportunity and privilege"
- Albert Sullard Barnes

Last edited by Gusteau; 11-23-2009 at 09:40 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-24-2009, 09:15 AM
MysticCat's Avatar
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
GreekChat Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: A dark and very expensive forest
Posts: 12,413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psi U MC Vito View Post
I actually got a question for the heraldry nerds of GC. The Psi U coat of arms has an owl perched on a fasces suspended over the shield. Would the owl be considered the crest and the fasces standing in for a helm or torse?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gusteau View Post
I would say that with Psi U, the owl would be considered the crest and the fasces, though unusual, would be considered the torse. What do you think MC?

ETA: I thought about it and another possibility would be to consider the owl perched on the fasces to be the crest and for the coat of arms to have no torse. Hmm...
This heraldry nerd thinks your second possibility is correct. The owl on the fasces is the crest, and there is no torse (nor is there a helm or torse substitute).

Just as a helm isn't necessarily an essential element of all coats of arms, neither is a torse. Just to give two examples of coats of arms without either, you can look at the arms of the College of Arms itself (the heraldic authority in England), where a crest coronet replaces the torse:



and of the United States, where there is not torse or helm:




As far as that goes, some arms need not have crests at all -- typically, the arms of women (except royalty), clergy and ecclesiastic institutions do not include crests.

I think I have made this comment before, but it seems worth making again: We frequently speak of arms being "correct" according to "the rules" of heraldry, but there is more than one set of rules. Each European country had its own heraldic authority and its own rules, so the rules in England could in some instances be quite different from the rules in, say, Germany. In the US where we have no heraldic authority (except as to the military), when we talk about the rules of heraldry, we're typically referring to the English (or perhaps Scottish) conventions, but the fact is we are not bound by them.

ETA: If you want to get really heraldically nerdy, the American Heraldry Society has some very good Guidelines for Heraldic Practice in the United States. These guidelines reflect "the rules" from other countries, while at the same time respecting American freedom in this regard. The guidelines say this about torses:
In armorial displays, the crest is usually depicted as joined to the helmet with a circlet of twisted cloth, called a wreath or torse. The norm in the United States is to show the torse as a twisted band, with three twists of the principal metal from the shield alternating with three twists of the principal color, starting with a twist of metal at the dexter side (the front of the helmet if shown in profile). However, there is nothing mandatory about this practice, and someone designing new arms is at liberty to choose other tinctures, to show more or fewer than six twists, to use an untwisted strip of cloth, known as a banderole, or simply to show the crest emerging directly from the mantling. Those with arms of foreign origin may either follow the normal U.S. method of depicting the torse or retain the design previously used with the arms.
__________________
AMONG MEN HARMONY
1898

Last edited by MysticCat; 11-24-2009 at 09:23 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Coat of Arms LaDy B Locals 10 09-23-2007 09:12 AM
coat of arms on ebay sanjiyan69 Lambda Chi Alpha 14 04-06-2006 06:56 PM
My New Coat of Arms! ChipHinde Lambda Chi Alpha 2 10-30-2003 04:32 PM
Coat of Arms Tom Earp Greek Life 52 02-13-2002 10:21 PM
Coat Of Arms Tom Earp Lambda Chi Alpha 2 02-06-2002 11:49 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.