Assumed Arms

On treating heraldic arms as intellectual property.
The British are known to take matters of heraldry seriously, and Mr. Trump’s American coat of arms belongs to another family. It was granted by British authorities in 1939 to Joseph Edward Davies, the third husband of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the socialite who built the Mar-a-Lago resort that is now Mr. Trump’s cherished getaway.

In the United States, the Trump Organization took Mr. Davies’s coat of arms for its own, making one small adjustment — replacing the word “Integritas,” Latin for integrity, with “Trump.”
The United States has no law governing the assumption of arms, and no authority for granting arms. I interpret the Second Amendment as recognizing the right of Americans to "keep and bear" heraldic arms as well as practical ones; after all, the heraldic arms symbolize what was originally a real right to keep and bear armor and weapons as a defender of the state. American citizens (but not British ones, anymore) continue to exercise that real underlying function. There is a very real sense in which we are much more properly entitled to heraldic arms than the British national whose countrymen have allowed his "right to bear arms" to become purely symbolic.

On the other hand, this assumption does not adequately difference Trump's assumed arms from those from whom they were assumed. A change to the arms themselves (and not just the motto) should be made to make them distinct from those that were inherited (at least under British law) by some descendant of the man to whom they were granted. Under American law that isn't necessary, and I assume it will not be done, but it would be the respectful thing to do.


Eric Blair said...

Jeebus, the NYT had to put in a thing about Russians, didn't they?

Anyway, this is all just more about American pretensions to "Nobility" that have been floating around in the general culture since the late 19th century, and this article is in fact another example of NYT (and by extension, wealthy northeastern US establishment types) looking down on President Trump because they think he's tacky.

Grim said...

You're definitely right about Marjorie Merriweather Post. I've been to her house near D.C., which is now a museum. She was obsessed with tokens of European nobility, and -- due to the collapse of the Russian empire in her lifetime -- collected especially Russian ones obsessively. It's not a surprise that she would have wanted a husband with a granted coat of arms.

E Hines said...

This is yet another demonstration of the intellectual bankruptcy of the CTL-Left: they can't form a coherent argument on the policies of the present administration (much less why it's this administration and not there favorite's), so they print this nonsense.

The truly respectful thing to do would include things like stopping trying to make us like Europe and walking away from, not tempest, but bit of foam in the tea cup. But the tabloid that is the NYT isn't capable of respect for anything but its own august self and the rumors it's pleased to print.

A separate, mechanical question: isn't the motto a critical part of the coat of arms?

Eric Hines

Grim said...

Not for the differencing aspect of arms. The idea always come back to the concept that the shield could visually differentiate which knight was which on the battlefield. Thus, the shield itself should bear some noteworthy visual difference.