International Women's Day

General Heraldry subjects
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Arthur Radburn
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International Women's Day

Postby Arthur Radburn » 08 Mar 2017, 16:07

As today (8 March) is International Women's Day, here are a few examples of womens' arms as granted and/or registered by heraldry authorities in various countries.

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From Belgium (Flanders), the arms of Ms Valeria van Camp, registered in 2014. In Flanders, women's arms consist of an oval shield framed by flowers and leaves, and an optional motto. No helmet or crest allowed.

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In Canada, on the other hand, a woman can have a helmet and crest, so that her arms are exactly the same in form as a man's. The example here is the arms of Ms Virginia Shyluk, granted in 2016.

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England, however, does not allow helmets and crests to women [1], and restricts them to shields (if married) and lozenges or ovals (if unmarried, divorced or widowed). Dame Dianne Thompson's arms, granted in 2016, are an example of a married woman's, and ...

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.... Ms Wendy Mead's arms, granted in 2011, are an example of an unmarried woman's.

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As the arms of Mrs Catherine Byrne, granted in 2006, show, there is now full gender equality in Ireland. Woman grantees can have shields, helmets and crests if they wish, regardless of marital status.

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The same applies in Scotland, as this 2016 grant of arms to Ms Freya Tugwell shows.

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South Africa has allowed heraldic gender equality since 1969. A woman can have a shield, helmet and crest if she wishes (though some still opt for lozenges alone). An example is the arms of Ms Danielle Gast, which are a 2005 matriculation off her father's arms. Interestingly, the Ms Tugwell mentioned above registered her arms in SA before having them granted in Scotland, where she evidently lives.

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[1] Unless the lady is the governor-general of one of the Queen's realms. Then she is allowed a helmet and crest -- because the Queen wishes it that way.
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Arthur Radburn
IAAH Vice-President : Heraldic Education

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LeeLumbley
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Re: International Women's Day

Postby LeeLumbley » 09 Mar 2017, 03:31

Thank you Arthur. Excellent post about women and Arms laws and traditions in various nations.
Lee Lumbley

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Mark Henderson
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Re: International Women's Day

Postby Mark Henderson » 09 Mar 2017, 22:44

Nice selection.
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Mark Anthony Henderson
Commonwealth of Virginia

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Terry Baldwin
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Location: Rocklin, California, USA

Re: International Women's Day

Postby Terry Baldwin » 10 Mar 2017, 09:39

Nicely done Arthur, spans the spectrum of variations very well.
Regards,

Terry Baldwin
IAAH Vice President: Heraldic Design

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Arthur Radburn
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Re: International Women's Day

Postby Arthur Radburn » 10 Mar 2017, 17:16

Thanks, all, for the feedback.

Since my initial post, I've discovered that the heraldry authority for the French-speaking federal region of Belgium uploaded an information booklet to their website* a few weeks ago. According to this, "in the case of a woman's arms, heraldic tradition usually depicts them on a shield of lozenge shape or an oval shield." No mention of flowers and leaves around the lozenge or shield, so while the general principle appears to be the same throughout Belgium, there may be regional/cultural differences when it comes to the details.

* http://www.patrimoineculturel.cfwb.be/index.php?id=7306
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Arthur Radburn
IAAH Vice-President : Heraldic Education

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Michael F. McCartney
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Joined: 24 Apr 2015, 23:34

Re: International Women's Day

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 11 Mar 2017, 04:17

Thanks for the link! - most interesting
Michael F. McCartney
Fremont, California


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