Royal College of Nursing

Scottish Heraldry
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Arthur Radburn
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Royal College of Nursing

Postby Arthur Radburn » 08 Apr 2020, 16:33

Royal College of Nursing - CoA 1945.jpg

The arms of the Royal College of Nursing in the UK : Azure, a sun in splendour and in chief three mullets Or. Crest : In front of an open book proper a Roman lamp Or inflamed also proper.

They were granted by the College of Arms in 1945. According to the RCN's website, the arms recognised the college's role during World War II. "It was the first women's organisation to be allowed to use a shield, which represents military service" [sic].

Royal College of Nursing - LL 1969.png

According to a post on Lord Lyon's twitter page yesterday, the college's Scottish board recorded the arms at Lyon Court in 1969. The Lord Lyon at the time evidently did not agree with the shield, for the arms were depicted on a lozenge. The helmet was omitted, but the mantling was not!
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Ton de Witte
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Re: Royal College of Nursing

Postby Ton de Witte » 09 Apr 2020, 11:24

So Lyon granted different arms as the stars are depicted 1-2 and not next to one and other in chief.
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Chris Green
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Re: Royal College of Nursing

Postby Chris Green » 09 Apr 2020, 11:45

Lyon seems to have "recorded" the arms. If that is so then they were recorded wrongly, since "recording" would imply that it was a case of simply saying: "These arms have been granted by another authority and we record the fact to avoid the risk of their being granted again in Scotland to someone else (since the Royal College of Nursing is a national body that operates both in England and in Scotland and requires its arms to be protected in this jurisdiction)".
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Arthur Radburn
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Re: Royal College of Nursing

Postby Arthur Radburn » 09 Apr 2020, 12:45

Ton de Witte wrote:So Lyon granted different arms as the stars are depicted 1-2 and not next to one and other in chief.
Or it might be artistic licence, to accommodate the awkward shape of the lozenge. It would have been difficult to fit three stars side by side without making them very small, or without moving them down to a wider part of the lozenge and leaving an empty space at the top.
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Ton de Witte
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Re: Royal College of Nursing

Postby Ton de Witte » 09 Apr 2020, 14:01

I assumed that this was artistic license, but these arms can be mistaken as different arms because of the way the stars are placed. I know this was done because of the shield shape but in this case they should have used a different shield shape.

I just hate lozenge shaped shields because it distorts the arms depicted on them, I think they should be abolished but this is of course a bit of a personal crusade ;) .
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Arthur Radburn
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Re: Royal College of Nursing

Postby Arthur Radburn » 09 Apr 2020, 15:01

Ton de Witte wrote:I just hate lozenge shaped shields because it distorts the arms depicted on them, I think they should be abolished but this is of course a bit of a personal crusade ;) .

I, for one, agree. Fortunately, Lord Lyon's ideas have moved on in the 51 years since these arms were recorded, and they now allow shields.
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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: Royal College of Nursing

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 13 Apr 2020, 06:50

I would go with artistic license, which was necessary in this case (and others with three small charges in chief above a large charge) because of the lozenge shield shape. Not ideal but as noted, better than trying to keep the stars all in a row if the herald insists on a lozenge. Sic Transit Ingloria Mundi ;)
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