Town’s coat of arms ‘irregular’

2017-10-31 06:00
The Fish Hoek coat of arms.

The Fish Hoek coat of arms.

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Fish Hoek may proudly display its coat of arms, but a few design mistakes have made it that the symbol has never been officially acknowledged by the State Herald.

The coat of arms was designed by Robert James McNie-Tait and agreed on by the newly formed town council in 1941.

It is made up of elements from some of the prominent families who founded Fish Hoek.

The shield is taken from the Bruins family, who received the grant for the land on which the town was eventually laid from Lord Charles Somerset, and the crest from the De Villiers family who later owned the land, according to the Fish Hoek Centenary website.

Alterations were reportedly made to not infringe on a Bruins family in East Flanders who has a coat of arms with a lion rampant sable and a fess gules (the band across the shield) with the colour of the lion changed. The Fish Hoek coat of arms has a silver or white lion on a gold background.

The arms of the De Villiers family show a crest of the same design as Fish Hoek’s. However, differences include that the hand is in a greave (metal glove) and the sword is all silver.

The coronet appears to have been added by McNie-Tait, which is another irregularity in the design, as a helmet should have reportedly been used. The coronet is also reportedly not the standard shape.

The application to have the coat of arms accepted by the College of Arms in London was rejected. As great expense had already been laid out to create the arms, the municipality management decided to carry on using it.

The bureau of heraldry has confirmed the coat of arms is not registered under the Heraldry Act.

Another reason why the coat of arms is incorrect is that a belt or buckle is not placed around a municipal coat of arms and there are no words or lettering used on a belt or buckle, but reserved rather for a motto ribbon. Another reported design flaw is the use of silver on gold.

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