Armorial Achievement for Brady McNulty

Heraldry is a fascinating subject. I had always thought it neat to see different coats of arms and try to guess the meaning behind each element. I then went about trying to design my own arms, and see what kind of requirements there were for using them in America. It turns out, there aren’t any!

In England and Scotland, arms are granted to a person found deserving. This is a grant from the monarch, usually at a hefty price paid by the applicant. Though I wonder if the Crown covers the fees for new Royals. The Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex, for example:

The Arms of the Duchess of Cambridge


The Arms of the Duchess of Sussex


In South Africa, there is an egalitarian focus of the heraldic laws. Anyone is allowed to apply for a registration of arms, and such registration is not considered an honor but rather more just a legal matter. In America, there is no such registration for personal arms, so at any time, we can come up with a design and declare (assume) that we are using them.

I cannot recommend the International Association of Amateur Heralds‘ Design Assistance Request (DAR) service ENOUGH. You can submit a request here:

It is a free service they provide to aspiring armigers, to help them design and assume arms that are heraldically correct. The last thing you want is to create something that ignores the rules of heraldry, and then proudly post it for the world to see. You will, perhaps kindly, be informed of what violations your design contains!

There are plenty of great resources online if you wish to learn more about the subject of Heraldry. The SCA publishes some great primers and guides for practical heraldry. Each Heraldry Society, club, and organization also seems to have its own high quality guides.


  • International Association of Amateur Heralds (Assoc. Fellow)
  • American College of Heraldry
  • International Society of Commoners Heraldry