Monday, July 21, 2008

Call to Arms...

The Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts or AEMMA has been granted an official coat of arms through the Canadian Heraldic Authority in Ottawa. The arms granted on January 15, 2008. The arms are based on the original coat of arms assumed by the Academy in 1998. The petition for
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the officially granted arms included the submission of the original arms, resulting in the granted arms being not to dissimilar to the originally assumed arms.

Heraldry in Canada, as well as the rest of the world, in particular, countries which have a close history with Europe continues to be practiced, and is alive and well. This thousand year old tradition seemed fitting for AEMMA and embraced this tradition with its petition. The entire process took about two years to complete, with receiving the Letters Patent, hand painted by a heraldic artist Ilona Jurkiewicz.

The motto "PRUDENTIA", "AUDATIA", "CELERITAS" and "FORTITUDO" represent the ideal qualities of a warrior as described by Fiore dei Liberi. These qualities are also symbolized in the armorial bearings with the two supporters, the lion ("AUDATIA") and the tygre ("CELETERITAS") and the lynx or wild cat in the crest ("PRUDENTIA"). The last quality, "FORTITUDO" represented in Fiore's manuscript entitled "Flos Duellatorum" or "Fior Battaglia" is the elephant and castle, but design aesthetics of the arms didn't allow for that representation to be included.

The standard depicted illustrates the arms and what looks like a rook and the crest (the lynx). The rook is actually a representation of a single-towered castle ("FORTITUDO") and is charged with three other symbols, the compass ("PRUDENTIA"), the heart ("AUDATIA") and the arrow ("CELERITAS"). The same castle charged with the three symbols also form the Academy's badge, which will be reflected in lapel pins or as embroidered patches to be affixed to jackets, athletic bags or other items.