20 February 2008

Heraldic News: Do Not Taunt The Lord Lyon

13. Heraldic practice, to be effective, requires regulation. There are Colleges of Arms in many countries (even a private one here in America) and famously the one in England. The Court of the Lord Lyon in Scotland, though, is the only one which we are aware of which carries authority to levy civil fines and penalties in the event you use unregistered heraldic bearings.

That's right. If you use arms in Scotland and you don't have them registered, you'll get written a ticket for your troubles.

The Court of the Lord Lyon is the heraldic authority in Scotland; it's leader, Lyon King of Arms (a/k/a Lord Lyon) is its judge. It has sat in daily operations for more than four hundred years.

Latterly Donald Trump has designs on a new golfing resort in the Land of the Bruce, and developed a coat of arms to use as a logo. Inevitably, since it's such a newsworthy development, it happened that the Lord Lyon Court got wind of this.

An investigation has been started. Via the BBC:

The Court of the Lord Lyon invoked a law dating from 1672 which means Mr Trump must register a coat of arms.

A spokeswoman for Mr Trump said they were working with the court to register the coat of arms.

The businessman has been using the banner on promotional material and official clothing while mounting his bid to create the resort at the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.

Just because you're Donald Trump, it doesn't mean you can flout over four hundred years of tradition. Four hundred years from now (climate change notwithstanding) Trump will be a footnote in history, but the Lord Lyon will still be here, God willing.

Matriculation: it's not just a good idea, it's the law!

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