Sable, a lion rampant, crowned with an ancient coronet, holding in the dexter paw a baton fleury Or, armed and langued Gules. Above the Shield is placed a Helmet with a Mantling Sable doubled Or, and on a Wreath Or and Sable is set for Crest, a tower Argent, masoned Sable, in front of a sun rising in its splendour Gules, and in an Escrol below the shield this Motto: “Flourish in Honor,” and set thereupon for Supporters, dexter and sinister, a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) reguardant with wings addorsed and inverted Proper, armed and langued Gules.

Armorial achievement painted by

Andrew Stewart Jamieson

A few of the persons associated with the early development of this country who bore arms were Christopher Columbus, Sir Francis Drake, Lord Baltimore, Sir Walter Raleigh, Captain John Smith, and William Penn. It should also be noted that George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and a host of other Federal and State leaders bore heraldic arms in the early period of nationhood. More recently, arms have been borne by such notable persons as Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald W. Reagan. Heraldic arms have also been assigned to the Federal Government and to many of its departments, to several State Governments, to leading universities, military units, societies, fraternal bodies and outstanding business corporations. The evidence strongly supports the man who said "bearing heraldic arms is as American as apple pie." The government of the United States of America and the several state governments in their early development elected to forgo the responsibility of regulating armorial bearings within their jurisdiction. These decisions unfortunately resulted in considerable abuse to heraldry in this country and delay in the development of American heraldic traditions.


Several private heraldic societies were organized through the years in this country, but none were sufficiently strong enough to survive. It was in response to this heraldic vacuum that the College was established. The College's intent was to bring some semblance of order into the American heraldic arena and to begin meeting the quite pressing heraldic needs of the public in this country. The first few years of the College were marked by creative experimentation and modification in heraldic modes. In time, experience led the way toward a more conservative standardized approach, compatible with heraldry existing in other nations.


The American College of Heraldry was founded in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1972. The College is directed by a Board of Governors who elect Administrative Officers and an Advisory Board. There are several types of membership in the College, including Distinguished Fellows, recognized for their eminent standing, particularly in the field of heraldry; Fellows, who are so recognized because of their faithful service to the College and to the cause of Heraldry; Members, who are persons with an interest in heraldry; and Associate Members, who are less than 18 years of age.


HomeThe College's membership is composed of persons having a serious interest in heraldry and includes individuals from across the United States and from throughout the world.