Wednesday, 22 August 2012

My personal banner and coat of arms

Coats of Arms are used to represent people, places and organisations. They came popular in the middle ages (although their origins are older) when knights were identified by the symbol on their shield and ornament on their helmet. The first flags were banners of these and some flags especially personal ones are still designed this way.   I grew up believing that my coat of arms was to quote "the ancient history of the distinguished surname McKittrick" which was printed by the Jersey Hall of Names: Black with a gold lion rampant. The crest was out of a mural cornet a gold lions head. You might notice that this is my profile picture(unless I you are reading this after I changed it)
I even went as far as basing flags on this:
McKittrick flag.JPG
Family Flag
Personal Flag
The problem is there is no such things as a coat of arms for a name, and although McKittrick is not a very common name there are still quite a few McKittricks (not all related) scattered throughout the world. Unless I can prove I am the direct heir to who ever theses were granted to or made by I cannot legally or officially claim it as my coat of arms.(even if I could they would be my father's it passes to me) One of the guys at the Flags Forum Paul James was good enough to design a new coat of arms for me!
mckittrick idea1.gif
As I am about to explain it features some aspects of my old personal flag and 'ancient' coat of arms. The motto "Cito Non Temere" which is Latin for quickly not rashly has been kept. But this has been moved to the top which is traditional with Scottish coats of arms to reflect my Scottish ancestry. 
Other aspects from the flag are the locomotive wheel and the thistle and the flax flower. The wheel is in the crest because my great passion is trains and railways. the thistle reflects on the ancestral home land of Scotland where the flax flower reflects on Northern Ireland where we have lived since around 1607.
 The lion (usually meaning a warrior) has been kept however as a salient rather than rampant. The reason for this is 1) it is less common and therefore make my coat of arms more likely to be unique. 2) it fits far better than a rampant between the two flowers and 3) it can symbolise my for-bearers' charging from Scotland to Ulster. 
the Mural Cornet(again normally associated with military service) and lions head has been replaced as the crest however the lion theme has been kept as a salient lion is leaning against the wheel. The banner of the arms looks like this  
mckittrick banner idea.gif
New personal flag
 I am not completely abandoning the 'ancient' coat of arms even though I can't legally prove they belong to me. I tried to combine the old with the new so to speak like this 
Sam's Coat of Arms 3a.JPG
The problem is this is very cluttered and messy, so rather than combine them I will display them side by side like the Great Western Railway did:  
The result is this:
 Sam's Coats of Arms modern & Ancienta.JPG
Now there are two natacible differences with the motto. On the 'ancient' coat of arms I moved it to the top in the Scottish style. But this would see the motto being repeated so I chose a secondary motto. Beir the Gree which is Scots for "win the victory" a sort of inspirational thing. This is how I think I will display them on my wall. However I am not going to use it like this my primary coat of arms to use and which is what I am basing my personal flag on is the modern one: 
Sam's Coat of Arms a.JPG
Or Paul James has been very good again to make an alternative combination of both of them:
 mckittrick new idea.gif
In flag form it would look like this:
Or a combination of both his new designs:

The flag would be the same as the one above but blue. I really don't know what to go for, you comments are welcome? 

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