Coat of Arms was formally approved by the Lord Lyon King of Arms in
1693, twelve years after the granting of the Royal Charter which established
The Edinburgh Merchant Company.
A new corporate identity, designed in 1994, re-introduces
the first Merchant Company seal with its contemporary coat
of arms, which continues to reflect the stature and position
of The Edinburgh Merchant Company today.
Interpretation of the Coat of Arms explains the significance
of each element and demonstrates the continuing relevance
of the insignia to the essential purpose of Members
The Merchant Company’s coat of arms has appeared
in many forms in its 300 year history. Today one of the
exquisite representations is in The Master’s Badge,
presented by John M Archer (Treasurer 1963-1965) in memory
of his father Sir Gilbert Archer (Master 1930-1932). The
badge is made of gold, platinum and enamel and encrusted
with precious and semi-precious gems and jewels. The Badge
was first worn by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
when he was Master of the Company, 1965-1966.
- The ship in full sail describes the importance,
then as now, of Scotland’s export trade.
The saltire worn by the ship and the St Andrew’s
cross demonstrate that the Merchant Company
- The crowned thistle, one of the Royal crests
in Scotland, indicates that the Merchant Company
is incorporated by Royal Charter.
- The gold ells, representing the rods or yardsticks
used for measuring lengths of cloth, and the
pair of balances, display the Merchant Company’s
- The castle is the crest of the City of Edinburgh.
- Above the shield, the sphere or globe signifies
that Members, then as now, are engaged in trade
- The symbol is reinforced by the motto Terraque
Marique, “ by land and by sea” and
by the sea unicorns, half-land and half-sea
creatures. The respect in which the Merchant
Company was held is reflected in the Lord Lyon’s
granting of the sea-unicorns as supporters,
as they were allowed only to peers and very