Happy Birthday Navy Supply Corps! This February marks the 221st year of the Navy Supply Corps.

Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms of the Navy Supply Corps

SHIELD: Per fess navy ermine and azure.

CREST: On a wreath argent and azure two United States Navy swords with sword knots, in saltire proper, surmounted by an escallop shell azure.

MOTTO: Ready for Sea.

SUPPORTERS: On the dexter side a griffin segreant and on the sinister side a sea lion sejant erect argent armed and langued gules.


The Coat of Arms of the Supply Corps is a pictorial representation of some of the functions of the Corps. The supply of clothing is represented by the fur of the shield, for man resorted to the use of fur as one of the first means of covering his body. The ermine fur is also emblematic of unstained purity and honor on the high seas, which is symbolized by the blue and wavy partition of the shield.

The escallop is considered a delicacy as a food, and is thus used to signify the supply of food. Other functions of the Corps could not be added without marring the beauty and effectiveness of the whole.

The Navy swords crossed in saltire indicate the seagoing requirements of the Corps.

The griffin, a symbol of perseverance, courage, vigilance, watchfulness and strength, was sacred to the sun, combined the bodily attributes of the cloud-cleaving eagle and the king of beasts, that is, it has the head, neck, wings and talons of an eagle enjoined to the hinder parts of a lion. He is thus a fit emblem of valiance.

The sea lion has been used in heraldic design as a reward for bold action achieved within recognized limitations, in service at sea.

The motto, “Ready for Sea,” is a recognized naval phrase, and is an expression of everlasting readiness for duty in seagoing service.


Components

Shield: The most important part of a knight’s defensive equipment, and the object upon which armorial devices are displayed.

Per fess: Applied to a shield divided horizontally into two equal parts.

Unde: An undulating or wavy partition line.

Ermine: One of the heraldic furs, show as three little black “tails” surmounted by three black dots, scattered on a white field.

Azure: The color blue.

Crest: Device borne upon the helmet to distinguish the military leader or knight when engaged in battle. the crest is therefore a bearing or device not worn upon the shield but above it.

Wreath: Sometimes called a bandeau or torse, which was originally composed of two hands or rolls of silk or leather of different colors twisted together. It encircled the helmet and supported the crest. This was an ingenious device used to cover the solder holding the crest to the helmet. The artist illustrates the wreath with six twists alternating the principal metal of the shield with gules.

Argent: The term of silver, and in heraldry frequently represented as white.

In saltire: Placed in the form of a saltire; i.e., so that the swords cross at an angle, like the letter X.

Proper: Applied to any heraldic device when borne to it’s natural colors.

Surmounted: When one charge is placed upon another.

Escallop shell: The shell of a marine bivalve mollusk.

Motto: Originally a word of sentence which formed a war cry. It was later used as a chant or expression of an ideal, or sometimes alluded to the arms or crest of the bearer. It is usually shown on a scroll or ribbon.

Supporters: Figures, animals, or birds, which stand on each side of the shield and seem to support it.

Dexter side: The right side of the shield; that is, the side opposite the left hand of the observer.

Sinister side: The side opposite the right hand of the observer.

Griffin: An imaginary animal, half eagle, equipped with wings, and half lion.

Segreant: Used of a griffin erect on its hind legs, with the wings endorsed and displayed as if ready to fly.

Sea Lion: A monster represented as the fore part of a lion with the tail of a fish.

Sejant: Sitting.

Erect: Upright, or perpendicularly elevated.

Armed: Signifies that the claws are borne of a different tincture from that of the body.

Langued: Applied to an animal when its tongue differs in tincture from its body.

Gules: The color red.

January/February 2016