U.S. Universities and Colleges

Heraldry in the United States
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JMcMillan
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby JMcMillan » 04 Feb 2016, 21:20

Chris Green wrote:
Columbia University adopted a "school shield" which it insists is not a coat of arms, in 1949.


When is a shield not a coat of arms?


Or possibly (5) when the university's graphic identity consultant so recommends.

Anyway: The crowns allude to Columbia's origin in 1754 as King's College under royal charter. The specific depiction of the crown comes from a copper replica of the royal crown that was once mounted on the cupola of College Hall before the Revolution.

Thanks to Fr. Guy for finding and posting these images.
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Arthur Radburn
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby Arthur Radburn » 05 Feb 2016, 07:32

JMcMillan wrote:
Chris Green wrote:
Columbia University adopted a "school shield" which it insists is not a coat of arms, in 1949.


When is a shield not a coat of arms?

And why is the shield (together with crest and motto) not a coat of arms? If it looks like a duck ..... Columbia U is surely not ashamed of heraldry?
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Arthur Radburn
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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 05 Feb 2016, 08:19

It clearly is a coat of arms, no matter how much, or why, they deny it. The denial merely demonstrates their ignorance; and the continued denial, by folks who should be literate and whose library likely has a dictionary or encyclopedia stashed away someplace, a willing ignorance. Doesn't speak well of the institution.
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Chris Green
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby Chris Green » 05 Feb 2016, 09:52

Michael F. McCartney wrote:It clearly is a coat of arms, no matter how much, or why, they deny it. The denial merely demonstrates their ignorance; and the continued denial, by folks who should be literate and whose library likely has a dictionary or encyclopedia stashed away someplace, a willing ignorance. Doesn't speak well of the institution.


A little on the harsh side for an institution which, if Wiki is to be believed, has nurtured five Founding Fathers of the United States; nine Justices of the United States Supreme Court, 20 living billionaires, 29 Academy Award winners and 29 heads of state, including three United States Presidents, as well as some 101 Nobel Prize laureates.

I can only surmise, in defence of whoever originated the statement that the "school shield" was not a coat of arms, that they might have meant that it wasn't an achievement of arms, i.e. that there wasn't meant to be crest, mantling or supporters, simply a shield.
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JMcMillan
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby JMcMillan » 05 Feb 2016, 14:24

I suspect (but have no proof) that some American universities' refusal to call a duck a duck is informed by the belief that coats of arms are inherently aristocratic, undemocratic, monarchist, and/or by the related assertion in standard heraldry handbooks (Fox-Davies, Boutell) that the only real coats of arms are those granted by sovereigns. American discourse on heraldry is full of this kind of thing:

- The weird (to me) view, propagated by people who ought to know better, that the United States itself has no coat of arms ("only" a seal).

- The railing at the absurdity of American colleges having coats of arms contained in a book on academic bookplates published around the turn of the 20th century (in which the vast majority of examples were armorial).

- Henry Adams's strenuous insistence in a book on his family's seals and bookplates (published about the same time) that the designs on shields with crests above them that walked, flew, and quacked like coats of arms were not, in fact, coats of arms.

Sometimes it makes you want to scream.
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby JMcMillan » 06 Feb 2016, 20:40

A few more from the Ivy League, a group of eight high-prestige private universities in the northeastern United States, all but one (Cornell) founded prior to the Revolution. The arms of Harvard, Yale, and Columbia have already been posted. Herewith those of Princeton, Pennsylvania, and Brown. The other two are Dartmouth and Cornell, yet to come.

Princeton University, Princeton, N.J. (founded 1746 by Scottish Presbyterians as the College of New Jersey). The arms date to 1896. I'm not sure how they were originally blazoned, but the orange and black colors are from the institution's sporting colors. "Vet. Nov. Testamentum" is the sound Calvinist sentiment "[Both] the Old and New Testaments."
princeton.gif


University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (ostensibly founded 1740 but actually in 1749 by Benjamin Franklin and others as the Philadelphia Academy). The arms were adopted in 1932-33. The plates on the chevron refer to the arms of Penn (Argent on a fess Sable three plates) and the dolphin on the chief is from the arms used by Franklin.
Penn.gif


Brown University, Providence, R.I. (founded 1764 as the College of Rhode Island). The arms date to 1833.
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Joseph McMillan
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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 07 Feb 2016, 07:04

I'm guessing the Orange in the Princeton arms was originally Or, which can have a reddish cast. In any case the visual contrast, as shown here, is better than I would have expected.
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Iain Boyd
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby Iain Boyd » 07 Feb 2016, 21:02

Hi Michael!

To me the field of the Princeton University arms looks like a dull gold rather than orange.

I have noticed this sort of thing before and have assumed that the it is either the monitor or the result of the colour settings of my computer. I am not computer literate enough to determine which, though.

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Iain

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JMcMillan
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby JMcMillan » 08 Feb 2016, 00:53

I should have said, the field of the Princeton shield is supposed to be orange, not gold. I doubt that anyone blazoned it tenne/tenny in 1896, but don't know how they did blazon it. In any case, the university colors are orange and black, as reflected in this photograph of a commencement ceremony (look closely and you'll see the arms on the head of the mace.

Image

As for the image I posted before, colors may appear differently on different monitors.
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby JMcMillan » 08 Feb 2016, 01:06

Just found this image of the banners of some of Princeton's residential colleges. A mix of good and bad. I think these were adopted independently by the students of the various colleges, with only a bordure as a unifying element.

Image
Joseph McMillan
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