Caribbean heraldry

The Heraldry of the Americas
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Chris Green
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Re: Caribbean heraldry

Postby Chris Green » 29 Apr 2017, 16:01

JMcMillan wrote:
Chris Green wrote:Communist Cuba would favour such imagery, as the "bonnet rouge" was a French revolutionary symbol, and the fasces were borrowed by syndicalists as a symbol of strength through solidarity.


Except that the arms predate communism in Cuba by well over a century, and even at that the cap and fasces were widely used symbols of liberty and republicanism well before the French Revolution. The cap in particular appears in the arms of many South and Central American countries with no history of communist domination, from El Salvador to Argentina.


I didn't suggest that communist Cuba designed the arms, merely that they would favour such [revolutionary] imagery.
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Re: Caribbean heraldry

Postby Chris Green » 30 Apr 2017, 07:28

The arms of Jamaica are surmounted by the curiosity of a royal helm. The supporters are two representatives of the extinct pre-colonial population.

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Argent on a Cross Gules five Pineapples Or slipped Vert. Crest: Upon a representation of the Royal Helmet lambrequined Or doubled Argent, Upon a Log fesse wise a Crocodile Proper. Supporters: On the dexter side a West Indian Native Woman holding in the exterior hand a Basket of Fruits and on the sinister side a West Indian Native Man supporting by the exterior hand a Bow all proper.
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Re: Caribbean heraldry

Postby Chris Green » 30 Apr 2017, 08:24

The arms of Barbados:

Image

Or, a Fig Tree eradicated proper, between two Flowers of the Red Pride of Barbados in chief, also proper. Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Gules and Or, the forearm of a Barbadian palewise, in its fist two stalks of sugarcane in saltire proper. Supporters: dexter a dolphin fish Azure, jelloped, crested and tailed Gules, sinister a pelican proper.


Why the (heraldic) dolphin, already an ocean away from the real thing, should be given red fins and tail is a mystery. As all the other elements of the achievement are proper, the dolphin could equally well have been a natural one.
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Re: Caribbean heraldry

Postby Arthur Radburn » 30 Apr 2017, 15:46

Chris Green wrote:The arms of Jamaica are surmounted by the curiosity of a royal helm. The supporters are two representatives of the extinct pre-colonial population.

Image

The arms of Jamaica have a long and complicated history. They were granted by King Charles II in 1661, which makes them the oldest national arms among the Commonwealth states in the Caribbean, and second only to Puerto Rico's in the region.

Here is a tracing of the original drawing in the College of Arms, as published in The Genealogical Magazine (Sept-Oct 1899) * :

Image

Apparently the College drawing shows the cross as gold. According to the article in the magazine, there was considerable confusion as to the correct tincture, some renditions showing showing gold, some blue, and some red.

The Colonial Office and the Admiralty seem to have been satisfied that red was the correct colour, though, as the arms with a red cross were approved for use as the governor's flag badge in 1875.

The matter was eventually resolved by re-granting the arms in 1957. There was a further re-grant when Jamaica became independent in 1962, the motto being changed from 'Indus uterque serviet uni' ('Both Indies will serve one [Lord]') to 'Out of many, one people'.

--------------------
* The article begins on page 200 and continues on page 241 :
https://archive.org/stream/genealogical ... 9/mode/1up
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Re: Caribbean heraldry

Postby Chris Green » 30 Apr 2017, 16:01

Apparently the College drawing shows the cross as gold. According to the article in the magazine, there was considerable confusion as to the correct tincture, some renditions showing showing gold, some blue, and some red. The Colonial Office and the Admiralty seem to have been satisfied that red was the correct colour, though, as the arms with a red cross were approved for use as the governor's flag badge in 1875.


The dots in the outline drawing certainly suggest that or was intended. But if one accepts that as being correct the pineapples must of necessity be argent as also the field. A cross gules is more logical given the link to England.

Incidentally the pineapples were depicted upside down and a rather odd shape. I wonder if yams were intended (though they too should have tufts at the top not the bottom). Of course the artist may never have seen a pineapple as they were only discovered by Europeans about the same time as the original grant of arms and it is unlikely that any specimens had reached the College of Arms.
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Re: Caribbean heraldry

Postby Chris Green » 01 May 2017, 08:03

Grenada has arms granted at the time of idependence (1974). Like many of the other former colonies in the Caribbean the arms feature local flora and fauna and make reference to the former colonial power. In Grenada's case the motto seems to have been composed by a committee.

Image

Quarterly, a cross Or, 1 & 4: Gules, a lion passant guardant Or, 2 & 4: Vert, a crescent and a lily Or; and in nombril point a picture of the Santa Maria. For a crest a golden helmet guardant, lambrequined Gules and with a wreath Argent and Gules, seven red roses surrounded with a garland of Bougainvillea-flowers. For supporters an armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus – Dasypodidæ) on the dexter, supporting a stalk of maize, and a Grenada dove (Leptotila wellsi) on the sinister, supporting a banana tree. On a ribbon an motto: EVER CONSCIOUS OF GOD WE ASPIRE, BUILD AND ADVANCE AS ONE PEOPLE. As a compartment the Mount St. Catherine and the lake Grand Étang.


The ship is intended to be the Santa María de Guía in which Columbus undertook his third voyage in 1498 and which first sighted the island which he named Concepcion, subsequently named Grenada.
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Re: Caribbean heraldry

Postby Arthur Radburn » 01 May 2017, 11:09

Trinidad & Tobago has had two coats of arms. The first, granted in 1958, was one of those unfortunate scenic designs, taken directly from the colony's flag badge (which, in turn was taken from the public seal) :

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The current arms were granted when the country became independent as a realm in 1962 (although one source gives the date of the grant as 1963). Here all three of Columbus' ships are depicted :

Image

These arms were retained unchanged when Trinidad & Tobago became a republic in 1976.
Last edited by Arthur Radburn on 01 May 2017, 16:47, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Caribbean heraldry

Postby Chris Green » 01 May 2017, 13:00

Grenada has arms granted at the time of idependence (1974). Like many of the other former colonies in the Caribbean the arms feature local flora and fauna and make reference to the former colonial power. In Grenada's case the motto seems to have been composed by a committee.

Image

Quarterly, a cross Or, 1 & 4: Gules, a lion passant guardant Or, 2 & 4: Vert, a crescent and a lily Or; and in nombril point a picture of the Santa Maria. For a crest a golden helmet guardant, lambrequined Gules and with a wreath Argent and Gules, seven red roses surrounded with a garland of Bougainvillea-flowers. For supporters an armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus – Dasypodidæ) on the dexter, supporting a stalk of maize, and a Grenada dove (Leptotila wellsi) on the sinister, supporting a banana tree. On a ribbon an motto: EVER CONSCIOUS OF GOD WE ASPIRE, BUILD AND ADVANCE AS ONE PEOPLE. As a compartment the Mount St. Catherine and the lake Grand Étang.


The ship is intended to be the Santa María de Guía in which Columbus undertook his third voyage in 1498 and which first sighted the island which he named Concepcion, subsequently named Grenada.

To describe the royal helm (again why?) as "guardant" seems most odd. What is wrong with affronté?[/quote]
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Re: Caribbean heraldry

Postby Chris Green » 01 May 2017, 13:14

Haiti, the western half of Hispaniola, does not have arms as such, but rather a display of cannons, flags and other military paraphernalia, as well as a cap of liberty protruding from a palm tree:

Image

That Haiti, of all the Caribbean states, has no coat of arms seems very strange given that it once had its own peerage. Indeed the current Richmond Herald, Clive Cheesman has edited a book about it.

C. E. A. Cheesman (ed.), The Armorial of Haiti. Symbols of nobility in the reign of Henry Christophe. With a historical introduction by Marie-Lucie Vendryes. London: The College of Arms, 2007.
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Re: Caribbean heraldry

Postby Arthur Radburn » 01 May 2017, 16:53

Chris Green wrote:To describe the royal helm (again why?) as "guardant" seems most odd. What is wrong with affronté?
The royal helm would make sense in that Grenada is a realm and the Queen is head of state. Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada and a few other realms or former realms also have royal helms. Conversely, some other realms' arms have tournament helms.
'Guardant' instead of 'affronté' is certainly unconventional. Perhaps Wikipedia's source was incorrect.
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