My Coat of Arms
Yes, I am a Canadian, so if you sometimes wonder why I write what I do, you can attribute it to living in the land of Ogopogo, Timbits, Maple Syrup, Hockey, Canadian Tire, Poutine, Jumper Cables, Chinooks, Tuques, Toboggans and a host of other things that are part of Canadian Life.
One Canadian thought I had the other day was, “I wonder if my family has a real Coat of Arms?” Many Canadians still have strong ties to the countries that their ancestors came from, especially if they have spent some time living in that country like I have. My British forefathers were fishmongers, so I knew it was not likely that the College of Arms had granted them an official right to arms. There is the Coat of Arms of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers of London, but I didn’t think their coat was something I wanted to gaze at on a regular basis. Then there is a whole industry that designs and sells Family Crests and pretend Coats of Arms, but I wanted something more unique, with a Canadian flavour. That meant I would have to make my own.
I started off by looking at the Canada Coat of Arms. It starts with a shield containing the Royal symbols of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Ireland) and France, and the Maple Leaves of Canada. Ferocious beasts on either side are the Lion and the Unicorn, and the flags are the Royal Union and the Fleur-de-lis. On top is the imperial crown of Canada’s Head of State. The motto across the bottom is “A Mari usque ad Mare” -From sea to sea.
I decided on something a bit simpler. I started with the most suitable armed garment I could think of – a Canadian Hockey jersey. The crest in the middle is the Canadian Maple Leaf, which can double as a flag if you imagine a white background and a couple of red borders.
The ferocious beasts on either side are the common house cat and mouse. I chose the cat because I owned one that could be supremely ferocious if I tried to stuff her in a cage to go to the Vet for shots. I chose the mouse because I had a picture of one that I could make look almost invisible. (You know from previous posts that sometimes I think I am invisible.) The mouse has surprised the ferocious cat, which means the mouse must be a bit ferocious too.
The motto is “Cognito, ergo spud”, meaning I think, therefore I yam.
I contemplated using one of the following Latin phrases:
- “Veni, Vidi, Velcro”, meaning I came, I saw, I stuck around.
- “Ita erat quando hic adveni”, meaning It was that way when I got here.
- “Veni, vidi, volo in domum redire”, meaning I came, I saw, I want to go home.
- “Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum” meaning Garbage in, garbage out.
- “Semper gumby” meaning Always flexible.
There are quite a few websites with Latin phrases such as these (I didn’t just make these up, you know). So go forth and make your own Coat of Arms, or display a well turned Latin phrase on a Text Widget just above your reason for being a great writer of blogs!
My Similar Cat Story: The Cat Compendium – The cats in our family.