Heraldry is the way in which families and knights could be identified through the use of symbols and signs, either on banners, shields or seals. By creating crests and coats of arms warriors could be identified on the battlefield when encased in armour and people could be seen as part of a family. Heraldry was usually reserved for Royalty or Nobleman.
The coat of arms of the Chief of the Clan Grant is a shield of red with three antique gold crowns. In the upper left corner of the shield is the emblem signifying that our chief is a Baronet of Nova Scotia. Over the shield is a baron’s crown, a helmet with mantling, and a burning mountain with the motto “Craigelachie.” Two naked savages with clubs support the shield. The clan motto “Stand Fast” is underneath.
The Arms of the Right Honorable Lord Strathspey, Sir James Patrick Trevor Grant of Grant, Baronet, Chief of the Clan Grant
Chieftains of cadet and branch families and other direct descendants of the chiefs and chieftains of the clan are also entitled to heraldic arms. Generally speaking, they include the red shield with three antique gold crowns, but incorporate other heraldic borders, symbols and devices to “difference” their arms from those of their Chief. Some of these are illustrated below.
Today, the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh is responsible for all matters pertaining to Scottish heraldry. The court is presided over by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. It is his duty to grant arms to qualified individuals, corporations and municipalities, and insure that the rights of the owners of the arms are not infringed upon.
There is no such thing as a clan coat of arms. A coat of arms consisting of a shield, crest, motto, and other heraldic elements belongs to a specific person, who, by virtue of his matriculation of the arms has exclusive rights to them. Consequently, anyone else who displays or otherwise claims the arms as his own is doing so in contravention of Scottish law – not to mention committing an egregious faux pas.