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Marcus K
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 12:40 am    Post subject: US military heraldry Reply with quote

As in many countries the US armed forces make use of Heraldry, and there are many good Coat of Arms and some who are not good. But the taste is divided.

As I have come to understand it the Institute of Heraldry of the U.S. Army doesn't only care for the Heraldry of the U.S. Army but of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Coast Guard as well as Federal Agencies. Is my assumption right or has I got it wrong?

By the way the Institute of Heraldry has an interesting webbsite with many Coat of Arms of Army units. Perhaps many of you have already visted the site but here are the adress anyway:

http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/
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Joseph McMillan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Marcus,

Welcome to the AHS forum. We have had several good discussions on Portuguese and Swedish military heraldry on the HSS forum and I look forward to continuing discussion of the related fields here.

This is my understanding of the role of the Institute of Heraldry in U.S. military and government heraldry.

1. TIOH (as it is abbreviated, the T standing for "The") is the executive agent for all the military services for the procurement of heraldic items. As a result, it prepares the manufacturing drawings and specifications for all badges, unit colors (flags), and so forth, regardless of service.

2. Within the Army, TIOH is the arbiter of heraldic design. Army units and other organizations needing arms and badges may make requests and suggestions, but TIOH is the final authority. Regiments receive grants of full coats of arms (shield, crest and motto), as do battalions that are part of the permanent force structure and are not part of regiments. (In other words, a xxxth Engineer Battalion, which is not part of a regiment, would have its own coat of arms; the 2nd battalion of the YYth Infantry Regiment would not.) Other organizations have badges and insignia, which may be in the shape of a shield (as in the case of the 1st Cavalry Division's patch, which is the elegantly heraldic "Or a bend and in sinister chief a horse's head couped at the neck sable") but are not officially coats of arms.

3. The other services and non-military federal departments and agencies may have arms and other insignia designed for them by TIOH on a fee-for-service basis. While their badges, arms, insignia, etc., will ultimately fall under TIOH for procurement and supply purposes, the other services are not obliged to have these devices approved by TIOH.

4. After the Army, the Air Force makes the second greatest use of traditional heraldry. Air Force organizations' arms and badges must be approved by the Air Force Historical Research Agency (at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama), but may be designed by the unit concerned or, at the unit's option, by TIOH. Units and formations of group size and larger have arms--or at least they have emblems that appear on shields. Squadrons have badges with disks as background. There is an Air Force Instruction (regulation) on heraldry and AFHRA publishes a Guide to Air Force Heraldry, which is available on-line at http://www.au.af.mil/au/afhra/wwwroot/heraldry/heraldry.html. In addition to limiting the types of things that can appear on the emblem, the guide limits the number of colors, specifies that blue and yellow must be included (this is disregarded in the case of some historic arms and badges), and so on. However, because of the freedom the Air Force gives its units to design their own emblems, compared to the more regulated approach taken by the Army, many of the devices used are quite non-heraldic. The AFHRA site also has links to a large number of images of arms and badges; the best starting place is http://www.au.af.mil/au/afhra/wwwroot/rso/rso_index.html. Select the type of unit or formation you want from the menu on the left, then follow the indexes on the succeeding pages. The best traditionally heraldry will be mostly in the wings and groups section.

5. a. The Navy makes less use of TIOH's design services than the Air Force. Navy ships have very wide discretion in the selection of their badges or arms, and as far as I know there is no central approval authority for the designs. Often the drafting office of the local shipyard will make the technical drawings of a badge based on a design selected by the captain and crew and simply send it to TIOH with a requisition to have the badges made up. On the other hand, Navy units can make use of TIOH's design services on a reimbursable basis, and many cruisers and destroyers have very traditional arms prepared by TIOH. This is particularly the case for recent classes of ships, such as the Ticonderaga-class of cruisers and the Burke-class of destroyers, for which arms designs are commissioned while the ships are still under construction.

b. There is a Navy instruction on the emblems used by aviation units--OPNAVINST 5030.4F, the relevant portions of which can be read at http://www.history.navy.mil/download/5030-4f4.pdf. Briefly, this instruction requires that all emblems be approved by the history division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. Squadron insignia are placed on disks; those of higher echelon commands are placed on triangles (with the point either up or down). In addition to guidelines on taste, the instruction includes the following words for heralds everywhere to live by: "The design should be simple, with one or two items, as opposed to cluttered with many items. The latter is a very common mistake and lessens the impact of the insignia, particularly when viewed from a distance. The design should be developed in strong colors of good contrast." Approved insignia of active units are linked from http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/org4-19.htm; note that many do not conform to the present guidelines and few of them are properly heraldic, a reflection again of the fact that units are given great leeway in designing them.

6. Marine Corps aviation units are governed by the same rules as Navy aviation units. Marine Corps ground units' emblems are seldom heraldic and rarely if ever designed by TIOH. I'm not aware of any formal approval process outside the organization itself. Marines do not wear organizational emblems on their uniforms (except aviators' flight jackets) and all unit colors bear only the Corps' eagle, globe, and anchor badge, so unit emblems are used primarily on signs around unit garrisons and on informal unit memorabilia. Few of these are traditionally heraldic.

7. The Coast Guard has a regulation on heraldry, but again, there is a large amount of freedom for organizations to design their own emblems. Few of them are recognizably heraldic and those that are are generally not what we would consider well-designed heraldry.

8. Civilian government agencies, like military ones, can pay TIOH to design their emblems. When they do, they usually get something classically heraldic, like the arms of the old Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (argent an open book surmounted of a caduceus all within a chain in annulet all proper). As often as not, these days they contract with a commercial graphic design firm, then send the approved design to TIOH to have manufacturing drawings and specifications worked up.

That pretty much wraps up my understanding; I hope it's helpful.
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Marcus K
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'am also looking forward to a continuing discussion Joseph, and your answer certainly is a starting point. I think you pretty much have the basic lines covered. I can add a few details,

U.S Army - units Regiment and seperate Battalions and others are usualy only granted a Shield. A Crest may be granted for any futher Combat actions. Schools seems to be excluded from this role and may have a Crest from start. Units of the Army Reserve have all the same Crest the Lexington Minuteman, Army National Guard units are granted a Crest indicating the State to which the unit are attached.

U.S. Air Force - units are not granted a crest anymore, som Army Air Force units in the past where granted Crests.

U.S. Navy - it seems that nearly all surface Ships now have CoA, only Aircraft Carriers don't have heraldic emblems. Only a very few Submarines have heraldic emblems. Some Submarine CoA:s pictures from http://www.globalsecurity.org



USS Maryland SSBN-738, incorporates the State Arms. Motto: "Timete Deum solum et ignominiam" the translation is given as "Fear nothing but God and dishonour".


USS Rhode Island, SSBN 740. The Anchor and Stars are from the Flag and Seal of the State of RH. The Chief indicates Union Service in the Civil War of teh first USS Rhode Island. The White Colour symbolizes the Great White Fleet of 1907 of which the second USS Rhode Island was part. Motto: "In spe pacis perennis" = "In hope of a enternal Peace"
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Daniel C. Boyer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:47 am    Post subject: websites should have blazons Reply with quote

Marcus K wrote:
I'am also looking forward to a continuing discussion Joseph, and your answer certainly is a starting point. I think you pretty much have the basic lines covered. I can add a few details,

U.S Army - units Regiment and seperate Battalions and others are usualy only granted a Shield. A Crest may be granted for any futher Combat actions. Schools seems to be excluded from this role and may have a Crest from start. Units of the Army Reserve have all the same Crest the Lexington Minuteman, Army National Guard units are granted a Crest indicating the State to which the unit are attached.

U.S. Air Force - units are not granted a crest anymore, som Army Air Force units in the past where granted Crests.

U.S. Navy - it seems that nearly all surface Ships now have CoA, only Aircraft Carriers don't have heraldic emblems. Only a very few Submarines have heraldic emblems. Some Submarine CoA:s pictures from http://www.globalsecurity.org



USS Maryland SSBN-738, incorporates the State Arms. Motto: "Timete Deum solum et ignominiam" the translation is given as "Fear nothing but God and dishonour".


USS Rhode Island, SSBN 740. The Anchor and Stars are from the Flag and Seal of the State of RH. The Chief indicates Union Service in the Civil War of teh first USS Rhode Island. The White Colour symbolizes the Great White Fleet of 1907 of which the second USS Rhode Island was part. Motto: "In spe pacis perennis" = "In hope of a enternal Peace"


It would be nice, once again, if the websites had blazons instead of vague "descriptions" in laymens' terms. Blazon exists for a reason.
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Daniel C. Boyer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:48 am    Post subject: compartment? Reply with quote

How would people interpret the black object in front of/below the bottom of the shield at http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/agency/ssbn-743.htm ? As a sort of compartment?
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Joseph McMillan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a bow-on view of a submarine. I wouldn't give the name "compartment" to "arms" that consist primarily of a map of the state for which the ship is named.
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Joseph McMillan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marcus,

Where do you get the information that regiments and battalions don't get crests at the outset? You may be right, but my impression has been that modern practice is that they get the full arms-crest-motto when they are established.
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Daniel C. Boyer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:03 pm    Post subject: maps in heraldry Reply with quote

Joseph McMillan wrote:
It is a bow-on view of a submarine. I wouldn't give the name "compartment" to "arms" that consist primarily of a map of the state for which the ship is named.


There are a number of examples of "maps" or silhouettes of particular areas or jurisdictions in heraldry (

, ) but the very least that can be said about this is that it is not good heraldic practice. The arms of SANTANA DE PARNAÍBA have a certain charm, however.
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Marcus K
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joseph McMillan wrote:
Marcus,

Where do you get the information that regiments and battalions don't get crests at the outset? You may be right, but my impression has been that modern practice is that they get the full arms-crest-motto when they are established.


Joseph,
it seems that we are partialy right the both of us, on thier Homepage the TIOH writes the following on the subject: "If the unit is active Army and has war/campaign service, a crest is also authorized. All reserve units have the same design (minuteman) and all national guard units display the crest authorized for the state to which assigned."

And as you will see after an examination on a few of the Arms presented on the TIOH Homepage many units have had crests granted years after the original Shield sometimes as many as 20!

Daniel,
I agree that its a shame that the blazon tend to be left out. Maybe this is due to a lack of understanding the importance of the blazon.
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Marcus K
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To honour the 60th aniversery of the Japanese surrender, the CoA of the USS Missouri:


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Marcus K
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Approved on 4 October was the CoA of the Special Troops Battalion of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Divsion:



From the TIOH site:

Blazon:
Shield: Per pale Sable and Gules with stylized folds Sanguine; in the first three lightning flashes conjoined and radiating from base point Or; in the second a stylized demi-Spartan shield of the like garnished Tenné and Bronze; overall a sword in pale Argent (Silver Gray) with hilt and handguard Azure (Teal); a bordure of the fourth two bars enhanced of the first.
Crest: None.
Motto: PERSTATUM FORTITUDO BELLATORIS (Perseverance Through Strength and Courage).

Symbolism: Gold (Yellow) recalls the Cavalry lineage of the unit. Gold is also emblematic of excellence and high achievement. The two horizontal black bars allude to wrought iron, inherent with Armor and the unit’s numerical designation “2nd.” The Spartan sword or Xiphos represents the unit’s courage, vigilance and preparedness to stand and fight at a moment’s notice. The blue of the hilt is for loyalty. The Spartan shield or Hoplon signifies the unit’s ability to receive and organize multiple attachments for combat and remain constantly ready to support global military operations. Red symbolizes valor, sacrifice and is the color of the Spartan warrior’s cape. The Spartan Army was one of the toughest on record and served as the standard for valor. The lightning flashes highlight the organization’s inherent ability to support tactical missions with Intelligence, Signal and Military Police capabilities. The contrast of black and gold underscores the night and day, around the clock mission of the Special Troops Battalion.
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Marcus K
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


CoA of the Information Resources Management College.


CoA of the National Defense University, the text on the scroll below the shield is National Defense University. NB the above mentioned College is a part of the NDU.
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Joseph McMillan
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rats! Marcus beat me to these! NDU is where I work, on the staff of the Institute for National Strategic Studies. Three more arms of the other constituent colleges:

National War College



Industrial College of the Armed Forces



Joint Forces Staff College



Each of the U.S. armed services also conducts a series of staff colleges and war colleges, of which those of the Navy, Army, and Air Force have arms. Of these, in my opinion, the Naval War College has the best arms:



Those of the Air Command and Staff College are not bad:


Command and General Staff College (Army):


Army War College:



Air War College:


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Marcus K
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Joseph, good this isn't a contest Smile

Here are som other arms:


CoA of the Defense Security Service (DSS), Baltimore, Md.


CoA of the Defense Commissary Agency.


CoA of the DCAA, Fort Belvoir, Va.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


CoA of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 9:52 am    Post subject: blazon of arrangement of mullets? Reply with quote

Marcus K wrote:

CoA of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.


How does/would one blazon the arrangement of mullets? Is it a constellation I'm missing?
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Daniel C. Boyer
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marcus K wrote:
Well Joseph, good this isn't a contest :)


CoA of the Defense Commissary Agency.


Can anyone tell what it is in the base? It's difficult for me to see at this small scale.
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David Boven
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From here it looks like a cornucopia/horn of plenty overflowing to the top instead of spilling out onto a table.

--dave--
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Michael Swanson
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:56 am    Post subject: Re: blazon of arrangement of mullets? Reply with quote

Daniel C. Boyer wrote:
Marcus K wrote:

CoA of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.


How does/would one blazon the arrangement of mullets? Is it a constellation I'm missing?



nmhm.washingtondc.museum/collections/archives/aproducts/aoralhistories/smith.pdf wrote:
Q: Again, we're talking about the time when you were working under General Blumberg.
You mentioned before that you had had something to do with him on the coat of arms of
the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.
DR. SMITH: Oh, yes, yes, you might be interested. When I arrived here in 1963, all we
had was the seal. And one day, Joe said to me, "I've got a fellow coming over here next
week to talk a little bit about giving us a coat of arms."
I said, "Oh, what's this all about?"
He said, "You know that the Army has a heraldry department, and the colonel in
charge of that's going to come over and talk to us."
So, sure enough, by the next week, why, a fellow by the name of...I think his first
name was John, but his last name was Temple, Colonel Temple, appeared, and he spent a
good share of the morning with us, talking about things like we're talking here today,
about the history of the Armed Forces Institute, et cetera, et cetera. And he said, "Well,
let me think about this. I'll see you in a few weeks." Sure enough, he came back a few
weeks later with some sketches. The next thing you know, we had a coat of arms. And,
of course, it was based on very sound thinking as far as medical background was
concerned.
As you probably know, green has been the traditional medical color for many,
many years.
Q: Yes, it's the stripe on the pants and all that.
DR. SMITH: And it is the color we use on the hoods of physicians at graduation from
med school. And during the Civil War, when this place was founded, they didn't use the
red cross the way they do today. That came about in World War I. But back in the Civil
War, they used to use gold and green guidons (flags that had those colors) to mark the
way to the battle aid stations, such as they were in those days. Physicians always used the
colors green, and green and gold, so our coat of arms is green and gold. And Colonel
Temple put that red ruby up in the left-hand corner, which is the symbol of the ruby in the
ancient physician's ring. And then the five stars, for the five medical departments in the
federal government: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Public Health Service, and the VA. And
then, in the crest, he put the three bay leaves with the snake, for the Army and Navy and
Air Force. We used to kid the Air Force people that the bay leaf that represented them
was the smallest on the... Two of them were about the same size; one was smaller. But
we just kidded about that.
So that's how it came about, in 1964.

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Joseph McMillan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Colonel Temple mentioned in this account was Col Harry D. Temple, whom I mentioned in another post the other day, concerning the arms of Fredericksburg, Va. He was not only the director of TIOH for many years but was also active in the design of arms for the Episcopal Church, including the arms of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

The three ships with sails furled represent the three ships that brought the first English settlers to Jamestown; the field is black to represent that the settlers brought Christianity to a place where the Gospel was unknown.

He also designed the arms for the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech, his alma mater.

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