Another Example of What NOT To Do


Above is the coat of arms of Jan Piotrowski who will be installed on November 29 as the Bishop of Kielce, Poland. The bishop’s arms contain perfectly good charges and are arranged nicely with good composition with one exception. The episcopal cross (often mistakenly thought of as a processional cross) which is the one external ornament that indicates the arms belong to a bishop, since other prelates may use the green galero with 12 tassels, is depicted as passing in front of the shield and piercing it with the bottom of the cross protruding from behind the shield. It is as if the cross is depicted as both a charge on the field and an external ornament at the same time. This is most incorrect. Charges must never extend beyond the edges of the shield; external ornaments should not be placed in a position to obscure any of the shield; objects cannot be depicted as piercing the shield; external ornaments are to be just that: external to the shield. I’m sure the person who designed this and/or depicted it thought he was being very clever and innovative. Instead, it’s just wrong. EPIC FAIL.

4 thoughts on “Another Example of What NOT To Do

  1. Shinji Sajor

    This is the official version of the coat of arms of Bishop Jan Piotrowski, but not the only strange case in Poland, this is the coat of arms of Archbishop Stanisław Budzik.

  2. Hans van Heijningen

    The Polish church heraldry is not the best one ….. but compared with about 30 years ago we see a little progress. Last years I also saw some Polish bishops arms which can match with good designs in other countries. See f.i. cardinal Nycz. And I consider the average Polish church heraldry better than the average heraldry in catholic Latin-America, Asia and Africa.


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