Facts about heraldry in Scotland
• A member of a Clan or Family is given permission to wear the Crest of the Chief of
the Clan or Head of the Family surrounded by a strap and buckle.
• In Scotland there are no "Family Arms". A Coat of Arms belongs to an individual.
•The only way to obtain an authentic Scottish Coat of Arms is by petitioning The Lord
Lyon King of Arms who is authorised by Her Majesty the Queen to grant Arms in
• The Office of Lord Lyon is one of the oldest heraldic appointments in the world and
its origins can be traced back to the High Sennachie of the Celts.
• Anyone living in Scotland may petition the Lord Lyon for a Grant of Arms provided
they are "virtuous and well deserving".
• This also applies to anyone domiciled in Her Majesty's overseas realms or in the
Commonwealth who are of Scottish descent.
• Nationals of other countries who can trace their ancestry back to Scotland may
petition for a retrospective Grant of Arms for a Scottish ancestor. They can then
ask for these Arms to be matriculated in their own name provided they share the
• Corporate Bodies (i.e. a group of people banded together for a common purpose
such as commercial companies and clan societies) may also petition for a Grant
• Once Arms have been granted they become the property of the Petitioner - therefore
the Arms of a Chief of a Clan or Head of a Family are his or her personal property
and cannot be used by anyone else.
• It is illegal to use a bogus Coat of Arms or to use someone else's Arms.
• Authentic clan merchandise showing the Crest Badge is approved by the Standing
Council of Scottish Chiefs.