see it clearly

Scotland Family Crest

People around the world are fascinated by the Scotland family crest tradition: it can be especially interesting to consider where these symbols come from, what they signify, and why they were held with such pride by those who owned them.

Scotland Family Crest

The fact is, family crests were actually a separate heraldic tradition from other ones – Scottish crest badges are, in fact, some of the most popular heraldic traditions that continue to be respected today. Keep reading to learn more about the Scotland family crest tradition and to discover more about what these badges mean for those who wear them.

Why Are People Interested in Scottish Symbols?

Ever since the Middle Ages, people in Europe have used complicated symbolic systems to define themselves and to recognize the enemy. The crests are part of the tradition that has existed for centuries and today is known for showing allegiance to different parties, peoples, homelands, and certain social stations.

Since the Romantic Era, people have started to look back to their roots and understand where they came from and where they are going. They think about their life development and they hearken back to their ancestors to gain understanding of life purpose and goals. This is why symbols of the past carry such great meaning: by reaching into the past and using old symbols, people today are able to reassure themselves of their clan’s permanence and right to exist. These remind them of their history and help them define themselves as a group and as a nation.

Scotland Family Crest

The terms “family crest” is not the correct terminology for the badge. This circular badge is comprised of a symbol with elements from the coat of arms owned by the chief of the clan and a motto that surrounds this element. The heraldic property is protected under Scottish law – even to this day, it is very fascinating to study the clan elements.

Where Did These Symbols Come From?

The truth is, the elements of the clan badges from Scotland are actually a relatively new phenomenon. The Romantic Era led to a revitalization of the tradition of using symbols and passing them on to the next generations. The tradition was reinvented for the Scottish clans. These established clans have chiefs who are recognized by what is known as the Lord Lyon King of Arms, who controls the Scottish clans and traditions.

It is important to note that an individual is not the owner of the clan crest. In fact, the chief is – it is his symbolism that is represented and worn by all in his clan. With this noted, although someone may buy a clan badge, it is the property of the chief. The motto on the badge as well as the heraldic symbol, such as a lion, bird, or other element, are representative of the chief himself.

For More Information on Scottish Crests

Many cultures around their world have their own systems for symbolizing and understanding peoples. However, remember that this badge system is a part of the greater heraldic tradition that has carried on over the centuries since the Crusades and other battles in the Middle Ages. It was the feudal system that inspired the traditions that are now carried out by members of Scottish clans.

If you are Scottish or of Scottish origin living elsewhere, it might be interesting for you to learn if any of your relatives have ties to a Scottish clan. You might have a badge that has been passed down by a family member and it can be interesting to investigate what that symbol might mean. For more information about the Scotland family crest tradition, visit a museum to look at these crests in person and to learn more about the tradition from historians who have specialized in understanding this phenomenon.