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  1. #1
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    Clansman's Badge

    I am trying to find out the origin of the crest used in my Arnot clansman's badge. I am curious as to why "a crescent or" was chosen and what it might represent. Is there a book out there that might have this information or somewhere else I could look? Any information will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Not sure how much help it will be, but here is an old classic completely online... https://archive.org/details/introductiontohe00claruoft
    Vestis virum reddit

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    Clan badges started as the crest on the arms of the clan chief. I think looking at the history of the chiefs of the clan be the place to find the answer. As clan Arnott is listed as an armigerous clan finding it might be harder to find the information. Depending on how long the clan has been without a chief it could be very difficult to fin the answer.

    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armigerous_clan
    "Before 1745 all chiefs had arms; however, not all of these are recorded in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland, which was only established in 1672."

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  5. #4
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    Thanks gents. You've got me thinking about some things I should check again.

  6. #5
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    Perhaps this quote from the website of The Lord Lyon may help you understand a bit about Clan Crests.

    "Clansmen and clanswomen

    These are the Chief's relatives, including his own immediate family and even his eldest son, and all members of the extended family called the "Clan", whether bearing the Clan surname or that of one of its septs; that is all those who profess allegiance to that Chief and wish to demonstrate their association with the Clan.
    It is correct for these people to wear their Chiefs Crest encircled with a strap and buckle bearing their Chief’s Motto or Slogan. The strap and buckle is the sign of the clansman, and he demonstrates his membership of his Chiefs Clan by wearing his Chief’s Crest within it."

    This is a quote from a page on the website of The Lord Lyon. The entire site is very informative as this is the Queen's representative for Heraldry in Scotland - http://www.lyon-court.com/lordlyon/c...pContentID=242

    It may also be helpful to take a look at the site of "The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs". This is the authoritative body on the Scottish Clan system. https://www.clanchiefs.org.uk/chief/
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 3rd July 17 at 09:18 AM.
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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ashton View Post
    Perhaps this quote from the website of The Lord Lyon may help you understand a bit about Clan Crests.

    "Clansmen and clanswomen

    These are the Chief's relatives, including his own immediate family and even his eldest son, and all members of the extended family called the "Clan", whether bearing the Clan surname or that of one of its septs; that is all those who profess allegiance to that Chief and wish to demonstrate their association with the Clan.
    It is correct for these people to wear their Chiefs Crest encircled with a strap and buckle bearing their Chief’s Motto or Slogan. The strap and buckle is the sign of the clansman, and he demonstrates his membership of his Chiefs Clan by wearing his Chief’s Crest within it."

    This is a quote from a page on the website of The Lord Lyon. The entire site is very informative as this is the Queen's representative for Heraldry in Scotland - http://www.lyon-court.com/lordlyon/c...pContentID=242

    It may also be helpful to take a look at the site of "The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs". This is the authoritative body on the Scottish Clan system. https://www.clanchiefs.org.uk/chief/
    Thanks for the links,etc. I recognize much of it. I understand how the clan and badges work. I am basically just wondering how they happened to choose "a crescent or".

  9. #7
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    Arnot,

    Here's a bit of a primer:

    As have been previously stated, the clansman's badge is simply the torse and crest from the clan chief's coat of arms, encircled by a strap and buckle. The strap and buckle indicate that this crest does not belong to the wearer, rather, the wearer "belongs to" (owes loyalty to) the armiger who bears that particular crest.

    Here's an example showing my chief's arms, and our clansman's badge:





    When one considers heraldry, one has to disassociate oneself from certain modern notions: namely, that each element of an achievement of arms "means" something. Heraldry started as a means to identify an individual in battle. Simple heraldic charges were selected, with simple tinctures (colors) because that was easy to pick out. Imagine: "See that knight over there with the gold moon on his helm, that's Arnott.." "See that knight over there with the gold boar's head on his helm, that's the Duke of Argyll..."

    Crescents in English heraldry are often used to denote second sons of a family. That being said, I suspect that meaning is much younger than the original arms of Arnot.

    Sometimes associated families bear arms that are similar. Other times, the arms are a play on the name of the bearer, referred to as canting.

    The best intro to heraldry is a wonderful little book titled, "Simple Heraldry, Cheerfully illustrated." From there, you can move on to other more academic guides.
    Last edited by davidlpope; 3rd July 17 at 06:24 PM.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidlpope View Post

    When one considers heraldry, one has to disassociate oneself from certain modern notions: namely, that each element of an achievement of arms "means" something. Heraldry started as a means to identify an individual in battle. Simple heraldic charges were selected, with simple tinctures (colors) because that was easy to pick out. Imagine: "See that night over there with the gold moon on his helm, that's Arnott.." "See that knight over there with the gold boar's head on his helm, that's the Duke of Argyll..."
    Very good point. This might well be the case with the crescent. It sounds like something people in my family would do. Something simple, not over the top, but still does the job. Maybe the old Arnots did the same. Many thanks.

  11. #9
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    Arnot, you might search out 'The House of Arnot and Some of its Branches' by Lieut-Col James Arnot, MD published 1918 or Burke's 'Extinct Baronetcies' as aids to finding the crescent origin as used by the family of Arnot. The crescent is often a mark of cadency -- the second son -- but I think in this case it was adopted by someone who actually made it all the way to the Holy Land and back -- and lived to be proud of the fact.

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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThistleDown View Post
    Arnot, you might search out 'The House of Arnot and Some of its Branches' by Lieut-Col James Arnot, MD published 1918 or Burke's 'Extinct Baronetcies' as aids to finding the crescent origin as used by the family of Arnot. The crescent is often a mark of cadency -- the second son -- but I think in this case it was adopted by someone who actually made it all the way to the Holy Land and back -- and lived to be proud of the fact.
    I actually have the House of Arnot. I haven't as yet found a reference to the crescent, but I shall keep looking and look more closely as well. I'm glad you mentioned the Holy Land. That theory crossed my mind, but I thought I might be just coming up with a good story in my own mind. Maybe it's not as crazy an idea as I thought. Many thanks.

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