South African Heraldic Style

Davis South African Arms The blazon given on the armorial Certificate of Registration is:

Arms: Gules, a fess between two griffins passant Or. Crest: A griffin passant holding in its dexter claw a cross bottony fitchy Or. Wreath and mantling: Gules and Or. Motto: JE NE CHANGERAI PAS D'AVIS.
Certificate Number 3251, 26th November 2001

European heraldry entered South Africa with the Portuguese in the early 17th century. Of more lasting influence, however, were the heraldic practices of the English and the Dutch. While a part of the British Empire, and later the Commonwealth, South Africa came within the heraldic jurisdiction of the College of Arms in London. Since 1962, the Republic of South Africa has , along with the Republic of Ireland, been one of the few modern republics which possess a functioning heraldic executive. In the case of South Africa, the heraldic executive is the State Herald within the Bureau of Heraldry.

South African heraldry is a blend of both British and Continental styles. The Arms shown here have a tilting helmet above the shield as would an English armiger since the surname Davis finds its origins in the British Isles. Those families of Continental origin would be allowed to use the barred helmet commonly found in the heraldry of the Low Countries and those nations influenced by German heraldry. Beneath the shield one finds the riband bearing the motto. Following the Continental practice, the riband is in the principal color of the arms while the lettering is of the principal metal.
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Copyright © 2002 Thomas Pinkney Davis
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