Today we have guest blogger: John Lehman. Vexillologists tend to tilt content towards flag issues. But vexillology is more than just the study of flags. It includes ribbons, badges, logos, trademarks, awards, ceremonial staffs, and even totem poles. And most importantly the subject of heraldry. But most dictionaries and people think vexillology only pertains to the flags, nope, vexillology even includes gangsta' symbols. Without further to a do, presenting...
John Lehman of the Coats & Arms Online Heraldry Database
|Intricate and Detailed Coats of Arms from Lehman's website Coadb.com|
Online shops that sell “family crests” and coats of arms are a dime a dozen and are very controversial. Most heraldry wonks do not support the commercial use of coats of arms because, technically speaking, in most instances, arms only belong to the individuals to which they were granted. Unfortunately, the average customer isn’t aware of the intricacies of heraldry and can be duped into purchasing their “family crest” printed on t-shirts, mugs, or anything elese from unscrupulous shop owners.
There is one website out there that is different: Coadb.com. As it name states, it aims to be a database of coats of arms and hopes to have every arms (millions of them) ever granted to an individual person. It shows a nice thumbnail of the arms, states what the blazon is, and states the source of the blazon (ex. Burke’s General Armory or Rietstap’s Armorial General). The arms can also be purchased on products, but Coadb.com attempts to be more honest with its customers by telling them that there is no such thing as a family crest and purchasing the arms does not entitle them to its official use. It also does not condone the dubious practice of using many spelling variants of one surname. For example, some websites will take the Lemon Coat of Arms and change the name to Lehman, which insinuates to the customer that both surnames have the same arms, which is not true. Stores that utilize this practice are called “bucket shops” and do this to boost their sales. Coadb.com does not do this.
Further, Coadb.com depicts the crest and supporters, whereas most other shops only offer the shield. Lastly, Coadb.com makes its arms available for sale on 85 products, which is more than most other heraldry shops. Check them out. They only have 8,200 arms, but they add more each month, and they take requests for surnames!