In a previous post, we talked about all of the options you have when choosing an animal (or body part, plant, or inanimate object) to form the basis of your family crest. As you may or may not know, the family crest is just one element of a coat of arms design, typically located near the top above the helm.
Today, we’d like to talk about another important element of your coat arms: the motto. As we’ve mentioned previously, coats of arms were traditionally commissioned so that a particular individual would have a symbol to represent his family name. Coats of arms were also a way to identify soldiers in the field of battle, and a symbol around which troops pledged to a particular family could organize.
In light of this last purpose, it’s very important to have a motto on your coat of arms. The motto on your coat of arms can be seen as the icing on the cake; a few words that tie together and elevate all the symbolism that you’ve worked so hard to create throughout the other elements.
The idea of choosing a motto can be a little intimidating though, especially if you’re not a writer and don’t consider yourself particularly eloquent. That’s why Fine Legacy has put together this brief guide to creating a motto for your coat of arms. Keep reading to learn more about the function of a motto, what it should convey, and how to choose the right one for your family.
What Is The Purpose Of The Motto?
At its most basic, the motto on a coat of arms is meant to articulate the motivation or intention of the person bearing them. Keep in mind that this could be the patriarch of a family or a knight in his service. Mottos can be a play on words, or, more commonly, a latin phrase that describes the life philosophy of the family.
Choosing Your Coat Of Arms Motto
Although Fine Legacy is dedicated to helping people create authentic coats of arms, we realize that we’re no longer living in medieval times. This means that you need not feel so restricted when it comes to choosing a family motto. Although many family mottoes are written in Latin, this isn’t necessary if you don’t feel that level of formality represents your family. You also don’t need to listen to other coats of arms creators who may tell you that there’s one certain motto for everyone who shares your surname. Your coat of arms is a unique design for you, and your motto should be too.
Examples Of Mottoes
- Irritate not the lion
- Virtue is the only nobility
- He who conquers endures
- Think and thank
- Victory is in truth
- Yield not to misfortunes
- A tree is recognized by its fruit
- Brave in difficulties
- Faith is stronger than fortune
- Always faithful/strong/nimble/ready
- By reason not force
- All things for the good
- After clouds, sunshine
- Courage without fear
Choosing a motto is part of our coat of arms creation process. Contact us to learn more!