Why do we love a good Coat of Arms seal?

So what does it all really mean? In the late 18th century, discussion on republicanism and inequality were politically rife questions. Robert Burns did not meet the requirements to vote, so he used his pen and voice to challenge political authority of the time. In his seal matrix, Burns has placed a wood lark upon a branch of bay leaves. In Roman mythology Bay leaves were treasured by the gods as their crowns of bay leaves connoted their high status and glory. By placing a wood lark - a songbird like himself - on top of the branch, Burns could be trying to say his voice has greater potency than the established 'Authority'. It could also be interpreted as a form of mockery, as a single songbird could undermine the glory of those in power with his voice alone.
Lastly, did Burns choose the symbols as a way of showing the world how he saw himself, or how others saw him? Whether you believe these symbols have multiple meanings or not, it still provides an insight into how Burns wanted to be portrayed and remembered. He was a lover of Nature and song and even in his height of popularity he never forgot his farming roots. Nevertheless, Robert Burns was a man not afraid to aspire beyond his supposed class, and this small seal is evidence of that, packed with the life story of a man who refused to bend to society's status quo!

1 comment

  • I am moved to tears
    Thank you for this inspirational Blog post
    Strength to believe in ourselves, and humanity as a whole, has always been the most important task at hand , to my mind

    Cynthia Busic

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