[ANSTHRLD] OT but still heraldry

Mike C. Baker kihebard at hotmail.com
Sat May 5 17:46:52 PDT 2007

> The school district that I work for is wanting me to create a 
> new piece of art for the portal. I said we could use the 
> school coat of arms. Silence.
> The school does not have a coat of arms. NOW they want me to 
> create one for them.
> So my question to you is this.
> Where can I find references to school heraldic rules if there 
> are any. I.E. 
> is there a set of rules for setting up an academic heraldic 
> layout like there is for a crown or for a female or for a 
> academic institusion, etc.
> Chiara 

I am not aware of a specific heraldic authority governing most schools
in the USA -- those with official affiliation to the Armed Forces being
a probable exception, as there *might* be exceptions for some schools
with certain religious affiliations.

Beyond that:  in the search for applicable rules I would start by
checking with the Texas Department of Education if they hold any sway
over the school (apologies, Chiara, I don't remember the status of this
particular school), any accreditation affiliations, and similar
governance bodies.  I don't believe there is anything at the Federal

Traditional layouts used by schools in Oklahoma (and by casual
observation also in Texas) are often quarterly on a heater-shaped field,
typically have a motto on a ribbon somewhere in the achievement design,
almost invariably have either the name of the school or at least the
formal initials included somewhere in the full achievement.  Any
existing school mascot may appear somewhere in the design, either as one
of the quarters in the central elements or as a supporter.  If a mascot
is not used as a supporter, the most common supporters I have seen are
lions, unicorns, wyverns, and dragons.

Other relatively common elements:  quill pen (full plume), scrolls,
books, athletic equipment, mortarboard hats, students in graduation
gowns (with the hats), academic equipment (esp. art, geometry & drafting
implements), animals particularly associated with local agriculture,
ears or garbs of wheat, other fruits/vegetables.  

It is fairly common in the examples I am recalling to include some
reference to any honor societies or other particularly important student
organizations with chapters active at the school in the full achievement
-- badges, initials, or at least tools of the associated profession.

As to any EXISTING emblems the school may already be using (beyond the
mascot), consider how they came into use.  Administrator's fiat, student
contest, stock images?  Consider the expectations of the administration,
staff, and students as to how any additions to those existing symbols
are going to include them in the decision process.

Hope these thoughts help some...

Adieu, Amra / ttfn - Mike / Pax ... Kihe

Mike C. Baker
SCA: al-Sayyid Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra, F.O.B, OSCA
"Other": Reverend Kihe Blackeagle PULC (the DreamSinger Bard)
Opinions? I'm FULL of 'em
alt. e-mail: KiheBard at hotmail.com  OR MCBaker216 at cs.com
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