Scottish Crests Badges
In addition to tartans being used to distinguish clans from each other, clans also utilize crest badges. A Scottish crest badge is a heraldic badge worn to show allegiance to an individual or membership in a specific Scottish clan. Crest badges are commonly called clan crests, but this is a misnomer; there is no such thing as a collective clan crest, just as there is no such thing as a clan "coat of arms".
Crest badges consist of a crest and a motto/slogan. These elements are heraldic property and protected by law in Scotland. Crest badges may be worn by anyone; however, those who are not entitled to the heraldic elements within, wear a crest badge surrounded by a strap and buckle. Those who own the heraldic elements within may wear a crest badge surrounded by a plain circlet. The strap and buckle represent that the wearer is a follower of the individual who owns the crest and motto.
Although the term "clan crest" is most commonly used, it is a misnomer. There is, in fact, no such thing as a clan crest. Although it is possible to purchase "clan crests", and the crest badge itself can be owned by a clan member, the heraldic crest and motto of the badge belong to the chief alone and never the clan member.
The crest and motto within and are the sole property of the chief, and clan members are only permitted to wear the badge in a show of allegiance to their clan and clan chief. It is illegal for a clan member to misappropriate the chief's crest and motto in acts such as decorating silverware and inscriptions on signet rings and jewelry. In short, coats of arms, crests, and mottos are the personal property of one person only, and in terms of "clan crests," they are the property of the clan chief.
Crest badges are specifically used for people to wear and are made out of silver or white metal most commonly silver or pewter. When illustrated, crest badges should only be printed in monochrome, and should not be displayed in color. Women are entitled to wear the crest badge as a brooch, generally worn on the left side, and as such, the crest badge may be of gold.
Crest badges are commonly worn by members of Scottish clans. These badges usually consist of elements from the clan chief's coat of arms. Clan members who wear their chief's crest and motto surrounded by a strap and buckle, show they are a member of the chief's clan (family). There are established clans that do not have chiefs recognized by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. In such cases, clan members sometimes wear the crest badge of the last known chief. Some clans wear crest badges derived from the arms of individuals who were never recognized as clan chiefs. Although "clan crests" are commonly bought and sold, the heraldic crest and motto belong to the chief alone and never the individual clan member
The clan symbol is displayed on top of a red and white twisted wreath. Sometimes you will see certain royal items in the crest badge as displayed here in the Home crest badge where the lion's head is sitting on top of a heraldic chapeau. Items like this included in the crest badge indicate that the clan chief holds a baronial rank or the clan is part of the royal bloodline. By law, only these particular clans are able to use these symbols of royalty in their crest badge.
MOTO: TRUE TO THE END
SLOGAN: A HOME, A HOME, A HOME making reference to the three castles of Clan Home.