Law of Corporate Heraldry?

Heraldry in use by the Corporate World
Post Reply
User avatar
Guye Pennington
AR Registered
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:50 pm
Location: Spring Valley, IL
Contact:

Law of Corporate Heraldry?

Post by Guye Pennington » Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:26 pm

Greetings, all! I admit I know next to nothing about corporate heraldry. I've heard that corporate heraldry in England and Scotland is considerably more liberal than personal heraldry (entitlement to use supporters and the like without being a peer) and even that the traditional laws of heraldry (one base metal, no tinctures on tinctures, etc.) are very loose and even broken. But I do not know if what I heard is remotely accurate...
Would someone let me know what the rules are for corporate heraldry? Must corporate arms be granted by the Lord Lyon or the College of Arms to be valid?
Many thanks!
Guye
Last edited by Guye Pennington on Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Guye W. Pennington
"Victory without honor is defeat."

User avatar
Martin Goldstraw
Site Admin
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:32 pm
Location: Shropshire, England.
Contact:

Post by Martin Goldstraw » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:38 pm

Hello Guye,

The term "Corporate Heraldry" covers a multitude and can (and does) include Ecclesiastical heraldry, Civic Heraldry, Schools and Universities and Limited Companies both large and small (including PLC's).

Some of the above have different entitlements to mere humans such as mural crowns etc in Civic Heraldry and various head wear for Ecclesiastical heraldry.

Supporters are almost always restricted to very large Corporations or very important organisations. If you and I were to set up a private limited company and then apply for armorial bearings we would not get supporters and the arms would be to all intents and purposes identical to those of a normal armiger. [Limited Companies have to show that they are substantive, stable and of good character before being considered worthy]

In Civic Heraldry only County Councils receive supporters; Boroughs (Burghs in Scotland), District Councils and Town and Parish Councils (Community Councils in Scotland and Wales) do not get them. I believe that the odd City may have received supporters in the past but I don't think this is the case now. In Scotland there are are different "crowns" for different levels of Civic authorities.

The subject of Corporate Heraldry would fill a book to give a precise answer but the above is the bare bones.

Just one small point - it is Lord Lyon, there is no "s".
Martin Goldstraw

----------
The Armorial Register
http://www.armorial-register.com

Image

User avatar
Guye Pennington
AR Registered
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:50 pm
Location: Spring Valley, IL
Contact:

Corporate Heraldry

Post by Guye Pennington » Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:51 am

Greetings, Whitecairns! Thank you very much for your reply and the brief overview of corporate heraldry. I had no idea that the size of the corporation determined the use of supporters or not -- does this apply in both Scottish and English heraldry? The reason I ask is I've seen some achievements with supporters where it did not seem like the corporate armiger (which I thought was English) was either particularly prestigious nor a member of the Fortune 500 (fish packing businesses and the like, not in any way insulting fish packers or the fine work they do, but I think you know what I mean). As such, how strictly is corporate heraldry regulated across the pond?
For example, I've incorporated one of my businesses (Mulcastre Real Estate Management, LLC) to have a subsidiary named Royal Heirlooms, LLC. I hired a heraldic artist to create an armorial achievement for Heirlooms that was rather deliberately nonsensical but drew heavily on different ancestral arms. My rationale was that I thought corporate heraldry allowed me to have considerably more liberty than my personal arms, so I thought I would be a little creative. However, if I understand you correctly, then perhaps corporate heraldry is more regulated than I thought and thus perhaps I threw my money down the drain.
Thus, do you think I should have the corporate arms re-done? After all, as I hope my clientele to be mostly serious enthusiasts of heraldry, perhaps it makes more sense to have a "by-the-book" corporate achievement...
Then again, as I'm striving for an "Old World" feel to my business and part of the business name is Royal, I had originally envisioned the whole heraldic ensemble for the company -- supporters, coronet, robe of estate, kitchen sink, etc. -- do you think clients could forgive a corruption of heraldry in exchange for an armorial achievement that is very attractive?
What are your thoughts?
Respectfully yours,
Guye
P.S. Thank you for the correction regarding the Lord Lyon. I tender my apologies for the oversight and I have endeavored to try to find any similar errors in all of my previous posts. If I have missed any, please let me know and I will immediately edit it. Thank you!
Guye W. Pennington
"Victory without honor is defeat."

User avatar
Martin Goldstraw
Site Admin
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:32 pm
Location: Shropshire, England.
Contact:

Post by Martin Goldstraw » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:48 pm

Hello Guy,
Like all things it is a matter of good or bad taste. Certainly in the USA there are absolutely no laws or rules which restrict what you can and can't do so I feel that if you are looking for credibility in the heraldic world then I would advise that you "adopt" the norm of one or other existing Country; it seems that you are trying to do this by asking the right questions.

It also depends on where your target market is. If it is the USA alone then it is entirely a mater for your conscience - it seems to me that there a good number of businesses on your side of the pond who trade entirely on the ignorance of their customers; witness the sale of "lairdships".

If your business had been incorporated in the UK, regardless of whether it were England or Scotland, it would never have been allowed to use the word Royal anywhere in its name. Only businesses actually connected to Royalty of with the authority of the Crown can use such a term. There are quite a number of names which are prohibited from being used in business names and Royal is one of them.

If it were incorporated in the UK it may eventually be allowed a grant of arms when it has proved itself to be worthy but it would not receive a grant of supporters.

So getting back to the use of assumed arms for your LLC, we return to who your target market is going to be. If it is the man in the street then your conscience must dictate. If you are aiming it at serious heraldists and you want to be accepted as a genuine enthusiast then it is going to be a case of "less is more" - modesty is always seen as acceptable and can never be criticised in the way assumed ostentatious display would be.

It is always worth remembering that in the UK, because arms can not be assumed by just anyone, what you might think of as being a plain old coat of arms with no additaments at all is still seen as being hard won and therefore very prestigious.

These are of course only my personal views.
Martin Goldstraw

----------
The Armorial Register
http://www.armorial-register.com

Image

User avatar
Guye Pennington
AR Registered
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:50 pm
Location: Spring Valley, IL
Contact:

Revision of corporate heraldry

Post by Guye Pennington » Sun Apr 30, 2006 4:24 pm

Excellent points, Whitecairns! As I foresee both serious and non-serious lovers of heraldry as (hopefully) my clients, I need to be proper in my design -- thus, I will significantly amend my corporate arms. However, I'm not sure I can cost-effectively change the name to something other than Royal Heirlooms -- as I've already completed the paperwork to incorporate in Delaware (there are a number of reasons to incorporate in Delaware instead of Indiana, but that is beyond the scope here) and paid for the domain name. Do you think too many people will begrudge me if I keep the name of the company as it is? I suppose if I open a British subsidiary some years in the future, I could call the subsidiary "Regal Heirlooms", but that just doesn't have as pleasant of a sound... :(

As I'm now going with just the traditional esquire helm, crest, mantling, coat of arms, and motto, would anyone have any recommendations as to what to put on the acheivement? If I'm going for a hint at something royal, could I put a coronet as a charge on the shield (I know I couldn't place a "real" coronet above the coat of arms)? Or do you think I should put a single lion rampant as a coat of arms (not the Or, Azure lion rampant of the Percys but another color combination)? What "unused" heraldic combinations would pay homage to the use of the word Royal while not being too flashy? May I respectfully request everyone's counsel?

Many thanks, and have a great day!
Guye
Guye W. Pennington
"Victory without honor is defeat."

User avatar
J Duncan of Sketraw
Site Admin
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:57 am
Location: Banff, Scotland
Contact:

Post by J Duncan of Sketraw » Sun Apr 30, 2006 4:34 pm

Or 'Family Heirlooms' Guye
Slaintè
John A. Duncan of Sketraw

The Armorial Register - International Register of Arms
http://www.armorial-register.com

Image

User avatar
Guye Pennington
AR Registered
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:50 pm
Location: Spring Valley, IL
Contact:

Post by Guye Pennington » Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:06 pm

I like Family Heirlooms very much, but the domain name for that and nobleheirlooms.com are taken...

Here's an idea -- would it be agreeable to have a horse rampant (facing sinister), lion rampant, and a coronet all as charges on a shield, or do you think it would look tacky (honesty is appreciated)? I'm just trying to think of ways I could salvage the heraldic artwork I've already paid for, but if it looks tacky, than I'll just abandon it... :wink:

Many thanks, and have a great day!

Guye
P.S. Sketraw and Mr. Hamilton, I REALLY enjoyed our conversation today! Thank you for your time!!
Guye W. Pennington
"Victory without honor is defeat."

User avatar
Guye Pennington
AR Registered
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:50 pm
Location: Spring Valley, IL
Contact:

Post by Guye Pennington » Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:31 pm

On second thought, though, in the very slim chance that I would ever meet any of the Royal family of the United Kingdom, I wouldn't want to have to apologize to them for the name of one of my companies.

Thus, I will start the process of changing my company's name, but I'll keep the name hidden until I get the domain name purchased. Better to do it right than potentially suffer humiliation later...

Whitecairns and Sketraw, thank you very much for your help! As the LLC will no longer need to be associated with Royal, the field is wide open if you have any particularly interesting heraldic combinations you would like to see and wouldn't mind passing along!

Respectfully yours,
Guye
Guye W. Pennington
"Victory without honor is defeat."

User avatar
J Duncan of Sketraw
Site Admin
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:57 am
Location: Banff, Scotland
Contact:

Post by J Duncan of Sketraw » Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:52 pm

Ah the trick is though Guye don't do as the rest do, buy it hyphenated - 'family-heirlooms' and then both words are searchable on the search engines. If you went for 'familyheirlooms' its classed as a spelling error so is not as searchable....take it from an old webby.
thats why we are 'armorial-register'
Slaintè
John A. Duncan of Sketraw

The Armorial Register - International Register of Arms
http://www.armorial-register.com

Image

Post Reply

Return to “Corporate Heraldry”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests