USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112)

Heraldry in the United States
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Jeremy Kudlick
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USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112)

Postby Jeremy Kudlick » 07 Oct 2012, 14:11

The 62nd Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer was named for the first Medal of Honor recipient from the War on Terrorism in Afghanistan and the first US Navy recipient since Vietnam. Her commissioning ceremony was yesterday in New York City. Her coat of arms, as designed by the US Army Institute of Heraldry, is described here.
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Chas Charles-Dunne
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Re: USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112)

Postby Chas Charles-Dunne » 07 Oct 2012, 16:00

Each authority, of course, has its own regulations and what it will allow and what it won't, but I find it strange that the coat of arms of the ship has the decoration of someone else hanging from it. As if the ship had been awarded the Medal of Honor, rather than the man it was named after.
The Medal Of Honor, the nation’s highest declaration for valor, draped as being worn by LT Murphy , is a reminder of his ultimate sacrifice for his Teammates and his being the first Medal Of Honor recipient from the war in Afghanistan and the first Navy recipient since the Vietnam War.

Doesn't feel right to me.
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Re: USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112)

Postby Chris Green » 07 Oct 2012, 17:56

As you say Charles, each heraldic authority has its own regulations, but the Institute of heraldry clear has a poor grasp of heraldry. Any self-respecting graphic designer with no knowledge of heraldry would call this a mish-mash. Poor old USS Michael Murphy, her crew is no doubt mighty proud of the arms, but oh dear.
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Jeremy Kudlick
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Re: USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112)

Postby Jeremy Kudlick » 07 Oct 2012, 18:19

TIOH may legally be the heraldic authority for the US Army, US Government, and the US Navy (when they feel like it), but we all know they are hardly the best heralds in the world, or even in the USA
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Re: USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112)

Postby Chas Charles-Dunne » 07 Oct 2012, 18:55

I don't know the status of the 'Stolen Valor Act', but I would have thought that a government department would have been a bit more sensitive.
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Re: USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112)

Postby Jeremy Kudlick » 07 Oct 2012, 19:17

Chas Charles-Dunne wrote:I don't know the status of the 'Stolen Valor Act', but I would have thought that a government department would have been a bit more sensitive.

The Stolen Valor Act was ruled unconstitutional for violating free speech rights (though I saw nothing wrong with it), but that still would not apply here because the Medal of Honor has its own protections in the United States Code which have been found constitutional several times over.

I agree it lends the appearance to heralds professional and amateur that the ship was awarded the Medal, but the average person probably would not make that connection.
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Re: USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112)

Postby JMcMillan » 08 Oct 2012, 23:20

Jeremy Kudlick wrote:TIOH may legally be the heraldic authority for the US Army, US Government, and the US Navy (when they feel like it), but we all know they are hardly the best heralds in the world, or even in the USA


TIOH is not the heraldic authority for the U.S. Navy in any sense of the word. They are a heraldic advisor to the Navy when the Navy asks them to be, and they are the executors of the Navy's heraldic choices in the sense that they prepare the technical drawings and manufacturing specifications for the physical production of heraldic articles for all the U.S. military services. But TIOH is a heraldic authority only for the Army itself.

U.S. Navy ship arms and badges are ultimately assumed by the first commanding officer on behalf of the original crew of the ship. For surface warships and amphibious ships, there is a general practice of seeking the advice of TIOH (this is not the case for submarines, aircraft carriers, or auxiliaries), but there is not requirement that this advice be accepted.

I fully agree that the Murphy arms are a mess, but it's not TIOH's fault.

As for the Stolen Valor Act, what was ruled unconstitutional was the provision against a person claiming to hold a particular decoration, not the provisions against wearing decorations to which one is not entitled.
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