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The fighting man of the Middle Ages wore a metal suit of armor for protection. Since this suit of armor included a helmet that completely covered the head, a knight in full battle dress was unrecognizable. To prevent friend from attacking friend during the heat of battle, it became necessary for each knight to sommehow identify himself.

Many knights accomplished this by painting colorful patterns on their battle shields. These patterns were also woven into cloth surcoats which were worn over a suit of armor. Thus was born the term, "Coat of Arms." As this practice grew more popular, it became more and more likely that two knights unknown to each other might be using the same insignia. To prevent this, records were kept that granted the right to a particular pattern to a particular knight. His family also shared his right to display these arms.

In some instances, these records have been preserved and/or compiled into book form. The records list the family name and an exact description of the "Coat of Arms" granted to that family. Interest in heraldry is increasing daily. This is especially true among people who have a measure of family pride and who resent attempts of our society to reduce each individual to a series of numbers stored somewhere in a computer. In our matter-of-fact day and age, a "Coat of Arms " is one of the rare devices remaining that can provide an incentive to preserve our heritage.

The McVeigh Coat of Arms left was drawn by an heraldic artist from information officially recorded in ancient heraldic archives. Documentation for the McVeigh Coat Of
Arms design can be found in Burke's General Armory. Heraldic artists of old developed their own unique language to describe an individual Coat of Arms. In their language, the Arms (shield) is as follows:

"Erm. a lion pass. guard, or. on a chief az. a crescent betw. two roses gold."

When translated the Arms description is:

"Ermine, a gold lion walking, looking frontways, on a blue upper third, a gold crescent between two gold roses."

Above the shield and helmet is the Crest which is described as:

"An arm embowed in armour, holding in the hand a tilting spear all ppr." A translation of the Crest description is:

"A bent arm in armour, holding in the hand a tilting spear."

Family mottos are believed to have originated as battle cries in medieval times. The Motto recorded with the Me Veigh Coat of Arms is: "PER ARDUA"
McVeigh's Place San Diego, California
Updated September 6, 2000

Charles Edward McVeigh
(619) 527-7273
Fax: (619) 263-3425

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