The field of the shield
is green, which in the immediate sense alludes to the armiger’s
occupation as a Physician (the Doctoral robe of Medicine is green).
To his descendants and future bearers of the arms, the green alludes
to Eternal Life, promised in Christ in the Christian gospels (St
John 3:16). On the field is placed a saltire, reflecting the
armiger’s paternal family origin being originally from Scotland. The
saltire is additionally part of the flag of the State of Alabama
where he currently resides.
Upon the shield is also placed a golden cross potonce, the ends
being splayed into three points, or a fleur-de-lis. The fleur-de-lis
represents the armiger’s maternal line (née Frigard) with origins in
France. More deeply, the three points have a Trinitarian derivative
meaning. All together the saltire and cross potonce possess a total
of eight arms which indirectly alludes to the surname of Carter,
alluding to the wheel of a cart.
At the centre of the design is a poppy with symbolic adherence to
the armiger’s profession as a physician Anesthesiologist. In a
deeper sense, the poppy represents life in Heaven, free of pain and
sorrow (Revelation 21:4).
The crest is the Eagle of Saint John. It derives immediately from
the armiger’s wife’s family line, nee Jenkins, a surname from the
Middle English meaning “John”. To future bearer of these arms, the
Eagle of Saint John represents the Christian Gospels, reigning
supreme over all of life. The three spheres under the eagle’s dexter
talons, alludes to the armiger’s three children, and to future
bearers of these arms, it is an allusion to the Trinitarian
The motto is Latin for a portion of St Paul’s letter to the
Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 15: “to live the Truth in Love.”
Lastly, the Seahorse supporters symbolize the great oceans which
touch the armiger’s distant countries of origin; Scotland and France
(secondarily Norway and Germany) and the States in which he was born
(Rhode Island) and of which he has spent most of his life, Georgia
and Alabama, all of which are directly bordered by the Great Waters.
The arms as illustrated are featured on page 30 in the book “The
Heraldic Art of John Ferguson” by Stephen Friar.