9/11 Depicted Heraldically


This is the emblem containing the coat of arms of the USS New York a naval vessel of the US Navy. The ship was constructed with seven tons of steel recovered from the wreckage of the World Trade Center in its bow. The twin towers and a chevron. representing the bow of the ship form a central feature in the coat of arms. The phoenix rising from the ashes is an allusion to carrying on and rebuilding the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the terrorist attack. The escutcheon on the breast of the phoenix contains the colors of the first responders on 9/11: the NY police department, NY fire department and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. The drops of blood on the escutcheon commemorate the fallen. The three stars depicted are for those earned by the former battleship USS NEW YORK (BB34) in World War II at Iwo Jima, Okinawa and North Africa. Above the shield the crest is taken from the central landscape charges on the coat of arms of the State of New York. Here the rays of the sun are depicted as seven in imitation of those radiating off the crown atop the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.

This may not be the best heraldic design I’ve ever seen but it is a fine example of how heraldry, even in our own time, can be filled with poignant meaning and, in a simple artistic design, depict and commemorate so much. This coat of arms was devised, as are all US military insignia by the US Army’s Institute of Heraldry in Virginia.

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