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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    HARRIS, S. (emblazonment by Sandy Turnbull)

    I most happily present my arms (expertly emblazoned by Sandy Turnbull):




    Name:
    Steven A. Harris

    Location:
    United States (Greendale, Worcester County, Massachusetts)

    Arms:
    Argent a chevron wavy Vert between three crosses erminée Sable

    The livery color, green, being in the middle of the spectrum, represents balance and toleration. Although not specified in the blazon, the specific hue of green used (sometimes called “watercourse green”, #006E48 ) was the corporate color of my first employer. The livery metal, silver (or white), represents moderation and humility; especially when weighed against the other heraldic metal, gold.

    The chevron principal charge is taken from the arms of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where I studied Chemistry and English literature. On the arms of VMI, the broken chevron serves as an augmentation of honor for the ten cadets who fell at the Battle of New Market on 15 May 1864, under the command of Confederate Major-General John C. Breckinridge. Moreover, the chevron recalls the long tradition of military service in my family. The wavy lines of the chevron answer the bend wavy on the arms assumed by my father in January 1999 (American College of Heraldry registration #1749).

    The three central charges, representing my three children, are crosses each made up of four ermine spots. The ermine spot is an elegant heraldic symbol of nobility and strength; combined into a cross, they recall my Roman Catholic faith. It is also worth observing that both the ‘chevron between three charges’ theme and the ermine-family of furs are common elements in arms used by those surnamed Harris.

    Addendum: Individually, the four ermine spots of each cross represent my four children; taken together, the three crosses represent my three daughters and the chevron represents my son.
    Crest:
    Vert doubled Argent; from a wreath of sacred fig leaves, a bobcat sejant holding aloft in her dexter paw a pink carnation, all proper

    Atop the helm sits a wreath of sacred fig tree leaves (Ficus religiosa), under which Siddhārtha Gautama was awakened and attained enlightenment as Buddha. Additionally, the wreath of leaves alludes to my given name, Steven, which comes from the Ancient Greek name Stéphanos (Στέφανος), meaning “crowned with a wreath”.

    Rising out of the wreath is a bobcat (Lynx rufus), which has served as a totem for the learned sciences since the XVIth century. In Arthurian legend, a red lynx has been attributed to Sir Lucan, Chamberlain of Camelot and King Arthur’s most-learned knight.

    Reminiscent of the Buddha’s Flower Sermon, the lynx (which Pliny the Elder had named a “chama”) holds aloft a single blossom. The carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) is both January’s birth-flower and the state flower of Ohio – corresponding to when and where I was born. The carnation is pink since the complimentary color of “watercourse green” is called “carnation pink” (#FF91B7).
    Motto (below the arms):
    To Thine Own Self Be True

    Slogan (above the crest):
    Scientiā Vincere Tenebrās

    Cri de Guerre:
    Wahrheit und Ehre

    On a scroll below the shield is an English motto: “To Thine Own Self Be True”, spoken by Polonius to his son Laertes in Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet (Act I, scene 3).

    On a scroll above the crest is a Scottish-style slogan: the Latin phrase “Scientiā Vincere Tenebrās”, which may be translated as “conquering darkness by science”.

    The cri de guerre used in the plant badge is “Wahrheit und Ehre”, meaning “Truth and Honor” in German, for my paternal ancestors from the Schwarzwald region of southwestern Germany, is taken from an old proverb: “in science truth, in art honor”.
    Standard:
    In the hoist the arms, the fly rounded and unsplit per fess Vert and Argent tierced by two bends Sable edged and bearing the motto Or, in the first a crest badge, in the second the badge, and in the third the plant badge.

    Also assumed is a traditional standard of two horizontal tracts and an unsplit end, with the arms in hoist. The fly is divided into three parts by diagonal stripes containing the motto. In the first section is a Scottish-style crest badge (the crest encircled by a leather strap proper embellished and bearing the slogan Or); in the second section is my heraldic badge (an octagon Sable changed with three Annulets interlaced two over one within an orle Argent); and in the third section is a plant badge.

    The octagonal badge, the first heraldic element that I assumed (on 14 July 2008 ), is directly inspired by the mon of Zenshinkan Dōjō, where I study Japanese martial, spiritual, and cultural arts. It is charged with three interlaced rings, taken from the heraldic cognizance of Saint Charles Borromeo, Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan, the eponymous patron of my college-preparatory school. Borromean rings were a mediæval symbol of the Most Holy Trinity, and have implications in my career field of biochemistry. Furthermore, the simplicity of the rings recalls the ensō of Zen Buddhism and Aikidō (合気道), in both of which I am a student. Likewise, the three mandorle in the central interlacing of the rings form a Celtic triquetra knot, for my maternal ancestors from the Irish Province of Munster.

    Lastly assumed is a pink carnation as a plant badge; depicted entwined by a ribbon in the tartan of the Clan MacLeod of Harris & Dunvegan – from where my surname is derived. The tartan ribbon, which Kathryn and I used at our wedding (on 24 January 2004), bears the cri de guerre in white letters.
    Principal Herald:
    The armiger, prō sē

    Assumed:
    27 April 2011 (Feast of Our Lady of Montserrat)
    © Steven A. Harris

    Registered & Recorded:
    American Heraldry Society - Members' Armorial
    International Association of Amateur Heralds - Membership Roll of Arms
    United States Heraldic Registry (submitted 17 August 2011)
    New England Historic Genealogical Society, Committee on Heraldry (accepted 17 March 2012)
    International Register of Arms (pending)
    Last edited by saharris; 29th June 12 at 04:23 AM.
    Stìophan, Clann Mhic Leòid na Hearadh
    Steven, Clan MacLeod of Harris
    Dandelion Pursuivant of Arms

  2. #2
    Join Date
    10th June 10
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    That is a lovely rendition of your arms. I appreciate the detailed descriptions of why you selected the tinctures and charges you did.

    Sandy Turnbull is very talented!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Congratulations!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    27th July 09
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    Greendale, Massachusetts, Unites States
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cygnus View Post
    That is a lovely rendition of your arms. I appreciate the detailed descriptions of why you selected the tinctures and charges you did.
    In addition to the arms themselves (which will hopefully be passed down), it was important to me that my Nth-great-grandchildren understand what the arms meant to me and why they are the way that they are. Except for our Canadian friends, I am unaware of any heraldic authority that documents design rationales. To me, this is a shame.

    Sandy Turnbull is very talented!
    Indeed he is. He's been one of my favorite heraldic e-artists ever since I first started to study heraldry. To have my arms done by him was a great honor!
    Stìophan, Clann Mhic Leòid na Hearadh
    Steven, Clan MacLeod of Harris
    Dandelion Pursuivant of Arms

  5. #5
    Join Date
    9th June 10
    Location
    Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa
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    Thank you for sharing all that detail, Steven. It goes to show the thought you have put into these arms.
    Regards,
    Mike
    The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life.
    [Proverbs 14:27]

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