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Service through Christ
The above painting of the Abernathy Coat of Arms was painted for Brian Abernathy in the early 1980's. The Coat Of Arms is shown both with the parrot on the helmet and without. 

   In Scotland's turbulent past it was custom for Clan Chiefs to give their followers a metal plate of their crest, to be worn as a badge of allegiance which fastened to their clothing with a strap and buckle. When not in use the belt was coiled around the crest and this convention is used in the clan crest badges of today. Only a Clan Chief may wear the crest without the strap and buckle.
   The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottos first began to be shown with coat of arms  in the 14th and 15th centuries. But were not in general use until the 17th century. Therefore, the oldest coat of arms generally do not include a motto.


    The word clan is derived from the Gaelic word clanna, meaning children. However, the need for proved descent from a common ancestor related to the chiefly house is too restrictive. Clans developed a territory based on the native men who came to accept the authority of the dominant group in the vicinity. A clan also included a large group of loosely-related septs – dependent families – all of whom looked to the clan chief as their head and their protector. 
    Septs are surnames, families or clans that historically, currently or for whatever reason the chief chooses, are associated with that clan.
    Historically, a clan was made up of everyone who lived on the chief's territory, or on territory of those who owed allegiance to the said chief. Through time, with the constant changes of "clan boundaries", migration or regime changes, clans would be made up of large numbers of members who were unrelated and who bore different surnames.
    Often, those living on a chief's lands would, over time, adopt the clan surname. A chief could add to his clan by adopting other families, and also had the legal right to outlaw anyone from his clan, including members of his own family. Today, anyone who has the chief's surname is automatically considered to be a member of the chief's clan. Also, anyone who offers allegiance to a chief becomes a member of the chief's clan, unless the chief decides not to accept that person's allegiance.

  • Gold (Or)   Generosity and elevation of the mind
  • Red (Gules) Warrior or martyr; Military strength & magnanimity
  • Black (Sable)   Constancy or grief
  • Helmet   When depicted on the shield, denotes wisdom and security in defense; strength, protection, invulnerability
  • Parrot  If present family is any indication, itsymbolizes talkers and great story tellers
  • Shield   When borne on the arms, represents the defender
  • Lion   Dauntless courage, heraldic bravery, strength, ferocity, and valour

Bar:  A bar is a smaller version of a fess. If there is more than one horizontal line across a shield, of if there is only one but it's unusually small, then it is called a bar, (or if smaller, a barrulet).

Fess: A fess is a wide horizontal stripe across the middle of the shield. It usually is 1/3rd to 1/5th the height of the shield. A fess is classed as an ordinary, and has as its’ diminutives the bar and the barrulet.

Ordinary:  An ordinary is one of a group of very common charges on a shield, most of which are composed of one or more stripes in various places or directions. There doesn't seem to be any absolute rule as to what is an ordinary and what is a sub-ordinary, but a typical list would include:
Fess, Bend, Pale, Cross, Saltire, Chief, Chevron, Pall, Border, and probably one or more of: Lozenge, Quarter, Gyron, and Canton.

Rampant:  Describes a 4-limbed creature (usually a beast of prey) as being reared up until only one hind foot is touching the ground. Compare to statant, passant, and salient.

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