Saturday, June 8, 2013

Creating Better Heraldry

My adopted city of Charlottesville, Virginia has a lame seal:

However, it turns out it has company.  Albemarle County, in which the city is located, also has a lame seal:

The University of Virginia, the most outstanding cultural institution in town, has a logo, not a seal or a coat of arms:

And even the Commonwealth of Virginia has a rather mediocre flag, ranked quite poorly on the North American Vexillological Association's survey:

So I'm on a quest to produce a better coat of arms for the City of Charlottesville.  There's plenty of source material, starting with the arms of the woman for whom Charlottesville is named, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen consort of King George III:

There are also the arms of the Earls of Albemarle, for whom the county is named:

Those looking for additional inspiration my consider the arms of Sir Walter Raleigh, founder of the colony (which are incorporated into the flag of the city which bears his name and appear on this historic map, though with sable instead of argent):

And also the old arms of the colony, derived from the British arms of the day, but also incorporating the cross of St. George:

Now, surely, dear readers, this is enough material to produce a classy seal or coat of arms which does not look like it was designed by an elementary school class.  I've got a few ideas, which I hope to post soon.  In the meantime, please share yours!
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