My good friend, Sean Paulhus, is a city councilor in Bath, Maine, and also largely responsible for the city’s adoption of a heraldic-styled flag. As a fellow fan of history, symbols, etc … I felt inspired to help Sean design a coat of arms of his own.
Naturally, the first place to begin was genealogy. We were able to trace his family back to French-Canadian ancestors of the last name Hus. Arms attributed to two French knights with the name Hus exist, but no genealogical connection could be made – not to say one doesn’t exist.
As the name Hus is not terribly common, the existing arms,
Gules, on a bend Argent three escallops Sable
presented a nice starting point for design. Just as we did with the flag of Bath, we went through an iterative draft phase. I wanted to keep a connection to the Hus arms, and incorporate more colors used in the Bath and U.S. flags as Sean is an ardent patriot. On a purely selfish point, I also appreciated that escallops were used and I enjoy the connection to my own arms.
So obviously the bend was turned into a Saltire, and the field was split per pale with Azure forming the sinister half. Sean agreed this was his favorite design – I also solicited feedback from friends at the American Heraldry Society.
I took the liberty of designing the crest and choosing a motto. Sean’s brain is without a doubt one of the greatest repositories of Presidential history. It’s been a fascination of his as long as heraldry has been a fascination of mine (since early childhood.) One President stands out among the rest to him as a personal hero, Theodore Roosevelt, whose family also happened to have an affection for heraldry. To honor that hero, as well as Sean’s connection with the State of Maine, a Moose was an obvious choice for a crest. A torse Gules doubled Argent was chosen to also reflect the American flag.
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
The quote above is a favorite of mine by Roosevelt. It reminds us the benefits of risk taking. I thought “Dare Might Things” would be a very suitable motto – so suitable, I may adopt it myself!