Saturday, 24 November 2012

15th March, 2004

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight
Carry that weight a long time

~ Carry That Weight ~

A Coat of Arms is a pretty big deal. They just don't hand them out to anyone. I mean, I'm not getting one any time soon, and I'm pretty sure anyone who reads this blog now, or in the future won't get one either. They're a big deal. They've been handed out for centuries, and symbolically tell the tale of the bearer. 

What tale is this? Now, if you don't recognise this Coat of Arms, it's okay. It's Sir George Martin's, he who hath recorded The Beatles of infamy. And when you look at it you say, ok. I see Bee(a)tles and a House Martin ~ I get that. Yeah and the Zebra is stripey, kinda like ... the zebra crossing at Abbey Road where George Martin recorded those Beatles. And the House Martin has a recorder in its wing, yeahhhh Martin recorded The Beatles at Abbey Road. Got it. He recorded John, Paul George and ... wait. He recorded Paul, George and Ringo. Wait. There's 4 Beatles but I see only 3. And one's bigger than the other. Maybe there's only 3 because John Lennon had died. But wait. George Harrison was 3 years dead by 2004. So where is the 4th Beatle????

Yeah. The language of heraldry. It's a confusing one. Well, not really. Because everything on a Coat of Arms means something. And they're placed in specific regions for specific purposes to display specific messages about the person receiving this distinction of Empire. 

 Here are the elements which make up Sir George Martin's Coat of Arms:
Arms: Azure on a Fess nebuly Argent between three Stag Beetles Or five Barrulets Sable.
Crest: On a wreath Argent and Azure A House Martin proper holding under the sinister wing a Recorder in bend sinister mouthpiece downwards Or.
Badge: A Zebra statant proper supporting with the dexter foreleg over the shoulder an Abbot's Crozier Or.
Among many other achievements, Sir George Martin was producer to the Beatles. The shield, crest and badge make various more or less explicit references to the group as well as to music and the recording industry in general.

Looks like some foreign language doesn't it. Nebuly? Fess? Barrulets? Sinister? Argent? Statant? Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? What exactly is this foreign language being spoken here. It's a bird on top of a helmet, with a shield of 3 beetles.


  1. just to clear things up, the words in the coat are in Latin. The 3 beetles didn't really mean just 3 of the Beatles. It was made 3 for aesthetic purposes. It could be that the presence of those represent his association to the Fab Four.

    PS. Paul is not dead ok? :)

    1. I'm going to hold back my inherent sarcasm, but thank you for helping me understand what Latin is. Did I hold back my sarcasm? I'm not sure.

      And thanks for the P.S.
      (still holding back that sarcasm, like a caged tiger.)

    2. Not exactly sure if you know how Labels work, but if you click that Label marked "Coat of Arms", you'll find the particular blog entries that pertain to this subject. And in the second posting about this subject, you'll gain a clear understanding that I have no problems identifying Latin when I see it. This entry just deals with the subject as an introduction. Please do read on before presuming anything of what I don't understand.

  2. I think the badge is more than "kinda like" Abbey Road. Those crossings are called "zebra crossings" in England. The crooked staff is a shepherd's staff. (Billy Shears/Shepherd reference there, big time. Also recall the Life Magazine cover photo of Faul on his farm "proving" he was still alive where his child is mysteriously holding up the same type of staff.) If that zebra is not supposed to represent Faul (under a scenario where there IS no Faul, only Paul), it would be very odd indeed to separate/showcase that real Paul apart from the rest of the group in that manner. Notice also that the zebra on the badge is holding the staff under its RIGHT arm. Word is that Paul's replacement/the current Faul/Sir Paul is right-handed, and there's plenty of video and photographic evidence of this. Best proof for me: photo of Faul with a lit butane lighter in his right hand. You can do a lot of things with your non-dominant hand, but flicking on a lighter is not one of them. (cot'd)

  3. (cot'd)
    The white divider on the crest itself looks like it may represent ALL of three things: (1) a tire tread (Paul's "car accident," which, though we don't know occurred, it IS now confirmed that blood was found in his car when it was sold; (2) the mysterious, puzzling way Paul left the scene, hence the puzzle-piece border of the white divider; and (3) the five guitar strings of the divider may tell us part of the music was left on that road. If there was no car accident, might one speculate that once the touring, or "on the road" phase of the Beatles ended, so did the real Paul, as would fit the timeline of the PID story? That may be stretching, but on the other hand, we are dealing with very intelligent, highly creative people here. I wouldn't put it past them.

    What I find fascinating about this crest is that there is no attempt to pretend that the fourth Beatle is anywhere but GONE. When taken with the badge, it is made clear that there is a Shepherd/Shears person separate from the rest who carried the music on. And please don't think the fact that the zebra is walking "back from" or in the opposite direction that the funeral procession depicted on the Abbey Road album cover is lost on us! That Shepherd is walking back from the graveyard and bringing the music back to life, and his was in many ways a solitary road. Of course, reportedly, some of that was his personality; but even if he'd been a saint, the loss of Paul could not have been healed completely. Further, I find it very respectful of Paul's memory that the crest and badge make no plastic attempt to "honor them all" as if nothing had happened.

    Finally, others have noted that the lower beetle is the largest. That to me is CLEARLY John Lennon. He was the biggest star of the group after Paul left or died, and as a songwriter, he was then alone. I would also find in the symbolism that this big Beatle "crossed," being on the other side of the road, but unlike Paul, Lennon was still part of the Beatles while the group existed. Not so for Paul. One could also argue that the big beetle was Paul left alone after Lennon died, but I'd disagree with that. If it were, that would mean that Paul is depicted in both the crest and the badge. That doesn't work for me. Moreover, it could mean that Lennon was out of the "Beatles picture." That doesn't work either since Lennon was with the group till the end.

    Another possibility is that the larger beetle represents the Lennon/McCartney musical union, which is kind of a beautiful thought. But I don't believe Sir George would have chanced being misunderstood and thought to have left one Beatle out.

    To me, this crest and badge are as explicit as can be, while respectfully leaving the facts obscured to those who prefer not to know. Very English, that. And isn't that how the Beatles - and Sir Paul, in his own ways - have handled this matter all along? I am grateful for this crest and badge. Message received, Sir George. Now rest in peace - that is, until Paul finds you and wants to start recording again.