Regular readers of these minor articles based loosely on the principles of heraldry may recall the treatise, if that’s not too grand a description, concerning the AFC Liverpool emblem from last season.
Briefly, this shifted our focus somewhat from what might be called classical heraldry and led us to explore a little bit into soviet heraldry. Very interesting it was too, if I might say so.
We start this week at that point as a quick glance at the emblem of Lower Breck FC suggests that we may well be in the same territory – both emblematically and geographically. Given this then, let’s have a go at this one without initial reference to the club concerned and see how close to the truth we can get.
The prominent feature on the top left hand side of the shield is a gold star. Maybe this one wasn’t awarded for outstanding achievement at primary school – does anyone remember that? – but what does it stand for?
Before we go any further it is worth pointing out again that, in classical heraldry, this device is a mullet and not a star but as we are thinking about soviet heraldry that is not really the point (or five, or six ….).
Such a device is frequently referred to as the Communist Star and appears in the flags of quite a few nations including China. Whilst the communist star can be a number of different colours, the gold colour is said to represent the unity of workers, peasants, intellectuals, traders and soldiers in building socialism – hence the five points.
The lower part of the shield exhibits vertical stripes in red and white. This is perfectly OK in classical heraldry as such stripes are known as pales or, more accurately in the case of multiple vertical strips, a pallet.
As we have seen before, colours have meaning in heraldry. In this case we see white which signifies truth, sincerity, peace, innocence and purity, and red which signifies magnanimity, military strength, warrior and martyrdom.
Fine, but one begins to become a little doubtful as to exactly where this is leading. The reason for that is that reference to vertical stripes in soviet heraldry is conspicuous by its absence.
For sure we see examples of vertical stripes on flags of some of the former Soviet states but they are on flags and not depicted on shields. As such, they are of interest to a vexillologist, although some may include vexillology in a broad definition of heraldry.
Pause for though at this stage and time to refer directly to the club and their thoughts on this may be represented as follows.
“The badge has no substance other than its design, club name, colours and motto. We went for bold and contemporary.”
That’ll teach me won’t it? Not for the first time an attempt to interpret an emblem by reference to heraldic design has failed and failed for the simple reason that heraldry, classical or otherwise, took no part in the design and adoption of the emblem.
This leaves us with just one part left to understand which is the Latin motto Nulli Secundus which translates into English as Second to None.
As James Davies, honorary secretary of Lower Breck FC, observed with a somewhat wry smile on his face, “we may have to change that should we ever finish second.”
With thanks to James Davies of Lower Breck FC for putting me on the right lines with this one.