|THE COAT OF ARMS
The Anglican Orthodox Church
1. THE CROWN. The crown is symbolical of the crown with which our ascended Lord is
crowned. "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of
death, crowned with glory and honour." (Hebrews 2:9). The crown is symbolic of glory
that is reserved for those who are victorious in Christ. "And when the chief Shepherd
shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." (I Peter 5:4).
2. THE LAMB. The lamb is symbolical of the triumhant Lamb of God "that taketh away the
sins of the world." "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and
wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is
in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are
in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that
sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." (Revelation 5:12-13).
3. THE GRAPE VINE. Symbolical of our Lord and of our relationship with Him. "I am the
vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth
much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (St. John 15:5).
4. THE DOVE. The Holy Spirit. "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out
of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God
descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:" (St. Matthew 3:16).
5. THE STAR. The Star of Epiphany, symbolical of the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles.
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold,
there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of
the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him...When they
saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy." (St. Matthew 2:1-2, 10).
6. THE CROWN OF THORNS. Our Lord's crown on the cross. "And they stripped him, and
put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put [it]
upon his head..." (St. Matthew 27:28-29).
7. THE NAILS. The nails with which our Lord was nailed to the cross, one for each hand and
one for both feet. "...he (Thomas) said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print
of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I
will not believe." (St. John 20:25).
8. THE SYMBOL OF THE ANGLICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.
The Triangle: The symbol of the Holy Trinity is representative of the Letter "A" in
"Anglicanism." It has a double relevance to the Alpha in the Greek alphabet. Christ is Both
the beginning letter, the last, and all between. He is complete Word incarnate.
The Circle: Symbolical of the Eternity of God, and representative of the Letter "O" in
"Orthodox." Also, refers to Omega of the Greek alphabet. Christ said, "I am Alpha and
Omega, the beginning and the ending..." (Revelation 1:8).
The Letter "C": Stands for Christ and is representative of the Letter "C" in "Church."
Christ is the center Person of the Trinity. Here He is represented too, as the central figure.
The letter "C" is colored red indicating the blood of our Lord shed for the sins of the
world: "...without shedding of blood is no remission." (Hebrews 9:22). "But Christ being
come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not
made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and
calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal
redemption for us." (Hebrews 9:11-12).
The symbol of the blood of Christ is at the center of our Coat of Arms, as it is at the
center of the Christian Faith. The atoning sacrifice of the Cross effects the reconciliation
between our righteous God and sinful man, and makes available Divine Grace, which
effects the regeneration of man: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for
the unjust, that he might bring us to God..." (I Peter 3:18.
Significantly, the atoning sacrifice of our Lord, which is at the center of the Christian
Faith, is represented by the letter "C" at the center of our Coat of Arms; and is identified
with the name of our Church.
In the symbols of the Christian Faith, we find the letters A O C, representing the Anglican
The colors in the symbol represent:
Blue: for fidelity,
White: for purity,
Gold: for divinity, and
Red: for sacrifice.
9. THE PHOENIX. One of the most widely used of all symbols of our Lord's Resurrection is
the phoenix. The legends concerning this fabled bird vary slightly. According to one
version of the phoenix legend, this bird, which resembles an eagle somewhat, lives to an
age of four of five hundred years, and then it gathers a nest of sweet smelling twigs and
spices. These are set on fire by the heat of the sun (a variation of the legend says by the
fanning of the bird's wings), and the phoenix is consumed in the fire. Out of the ashes the
bird rises again, recreated and young, destined to live another five hundred years. A
different legend states that the phoenix, having attained the age of five hundred years, flies
to Heliopolis, Egypt, and burns itself upon the high altar in the temple. When the priest
comes he finds, among the ashes, on the altar a small worm of very sweet savor. This
worm turns into a bird, which attains full growth on the fourth day, and the phoenix flies
away with its youth renewed.
10. THE LION OF JUDAH. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah is among the well-known symbols
of our Lord. There are several variations of the old-ti,e lion legend. The lion was thought
by the ancients to be able to obliterate his tracks with his tail in order to escape the hunter.
So, too, did our Lord conceal His glory from His enemies and accomplish the will of His
Father despite their evil plotting. The ancients believed that the lion sleeps with one eye
open. So, also, is it said that, "Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor
sleep." (Psalms 121:4). Because of their closed eyes, the people of olden times thought
that the cubs of the lioness were born dead, and were brought to life on the third day by
the breath of the lioness, or the voice of the lion. In like manner, was our Lord brought to
life on the third day by the voice of the Father.
The Lion likewise opens the seals of the Book of Life (Revelation 5:5), and is thus pictured
in many an old church. "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion
of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the
seven seals thereof."
11. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Symbolical of the righteousness of God which is
witnessed by His Holy Spirit; the proclamation of God's law. "Wherefore the law [is]
holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." (Romans 7:12). "Blessed are the
undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his
testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart." (Psalm 119:1-2).
12. THE CUP OF BLESSING. The symbol of God's Grace and the new life in Christ available
through His blood shed on the Cross and received through the Sacrament of Holy
Communion. "Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament
in my blood, which is shed for you." (St. Luke 22:20). And, "...which is shed for many
for the remission of sins." (St. Matthew 26:28). (See also, Prayer Book, Page 80, St.
Mark 14:22-25, and I Corinthians 11:23-25).
13. THE BIBLE AND LAMP. The Bible at the base of the shield reminds us that our Church
and out lives in the Church are based on the Word of God. The Lamp reminds us that the
Word of God as found in the Bible is a, "For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD
will lighten my darkness." (II Samuel 22:29)
14. THE CROSS. The Cross in white covers the face of the shield, reminding us of the
salvation wrought for us on the Cross by God our Saviour.
15. THE MOTTO. "FIDE ET FORTITUDINE IN DEO." "Faith and Courage in God."