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2002-Dec-22: Sir Paul's Coat of Arms

The royal household's College of Arms has granted Sir Paul a coat of arms.  It was delivered to Sir Paul on an elaborate scroll inside a red box with gold trimmings.  The shield features two black curved emblems (called flaunches).  Each flaunch is divided in two and the resulting four shapes, resembling beetles' backs to symbolize each of the four Beatles.  The two circles in the center of the shield represent records and CDs.  Guitar strings pass over them.

The Liver Bird featured at the top of the coat of arms represents Sir Paul's home city of Liverpool.  The birds  beak open in song and it holds a guitar in its claw. In heraldic terms the scene is described as "a Liver Bird calling sable supporting with the dexter claws a guitar or stringed sable". According to Anthony Adolph, research director at the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies in Canterbury:

"It's appropriate for McCartney to have a guitar - the article should reflect the person.  They are meant to be very personal."
The motto of the coat of arms is "Ecce Cor Meum" (the Latin for "Behold My Heart") which is also the title of an oratorio written by Sir Paul during Linda's illness.  The oratorio received its premiere on November 10, 2001 when it was performed by the choir of Magdalen College of Oxford.

Sir Paul applied for the coat of arms in 1997, the year he was knighted. Reports say that Linda's death delayed the design and approval of the shield.

Nearly 150 coats of arms are granted each year by the College of Arms.  According to Peter Gwynn-Jones, the Garter King of Arms of the College:

"In the old days a coat of arms was meant for somebody who was ostensibly a gentleman who used their arms to fight for the king, but it has changed from the medieval purpose of using arms for identification. The Tudors decided the best way to prove they were important was to get a coat of arms and that has continued ever since.  It is something which is attractive, personal, and gives a sense of worth and achievement."
How will Sir Paul use this symbol of his knighthood?  His spokesman, Geoff Baker says:
"Paul isn't the type to put it up in his office or in his hallway at home. He is very down-to-earth about being a knight - he doesn't use the title. None of his friends calls him Sir Paul. The only time he gets called that is when he is in restaurants or on airplanes."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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