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So you’ve been looking on the internet for “Create a Custom Coat of Arms” ever since you bought that key chain with your last name or surname on it at the medieval fair last time they came through. Since you are here, you probably already know that any coat of arms with a family name of the bottom of it is as illegitimate as that second cousin everyone in the family talks about, like this:

ANY Coat of Arms with a Family Name on it is NOT Legit

It’s not that the Coat of Arms is Illegitimate, it’s the idea that it belongs to anyone with the last name Alvarado in this case. That coat of arms almost certainly existed and was lawfully granted to someone with the last name of Alvarado. That’s where it’s similarity to your last name ends. Coats of Arms, more properly called Armorial Achievements or just Arms are granted to individual people or institutions and while if properly matriculated, they can be passed down unaltered, it is almost never done. Here’s a bit of the language from a real, legitimate, 1997 grant from all three principal heralds on authority from the Queen of England:

I appreciate what you have done, its lovely to finally see the full achievement. I shall frame your certificate with pride and it will hold a place of honour in my office.

– A. Kerensky


Brian Abel Ragen

                 of Southern Illinois… [Lists of Degree Held and Orders belonged to] …Grant and assign unto the said Brian Abel Ragan the Honorary Arms following… [The Blazon or Written Description of the Arms] …We do further grant and assign the following Honorary Device or Badge… [The Blazon or Written Description of the Arms] …the whole to be borne or used for ever hereafter by the said Brain Abel Ragan and by his descendants…

Note the distinction between the Arms located in the upper left of the Letter Patent below granted ONLY to Brian and the Badge which is granted to Brian and his descendants. It is where we get the mostly false idea or Family Crest. Because Crests (just the part sitting on top of the helmet) are often passed in this same way to families. His badge located in the center of the Letter Patent below (also sometimes done with just the Crest) is for his family’s use and is passed to them forever. But NOT the Coat of Arms! Here is an image of that Letter Patent:

So to have a coat of arms that truly belongs to you, you need to be either Granted Arms from the Queen of England or another Sovereign Head of State or Assume them yourself. The latter is what we do here at Assume Arms and in America in General as we don’t have a granting body. If your Arms are being granted by the The College of Arms in London, they will help you design it as part of the standard £6,600 cost. Which they well should as that translates to US $8,638.10 at today’s exchange rate. If you assume your own arms, we can provide the guidance, advice and artwork for something a lot more reasonable, currently $100USD. So hop over to here to get started: