Thursday, November 04, 2010

Saving New England from the dump heap of history

This morning I did a short radio spot with Kelly Fuller on ABC New England North West on new state symbols, a spot triggered by When was the New England rampant lion first raised?. She had already followed up with Max Ellis, Ulrich Ellis's son. Ulrich both devised the flag and wrote the lyrics for the New State anthem.

Listening to the broadcast, Max apparently has a recording of the anthem being sung that he is going to lend to Kelly. I will follow up with her to see if we can have it put on line. Given my voice, I dare not try to sing it myself!  

Those who are interested in the words and lyrics can find them in Battle Song of New England.

You know, it's interesting. Slowly but surely we are bringing New England's past back from the historical dump heap to which it had been assigned under the influence of changing historical fashions.  


Augustus Winston said...

Hi Jim
I listened with great interest to your rampant lion quest and I wish you luck. However I note that the lion has only three legs and one arm (this being aloft with the sword)This may be significant in your quest for its origin.

I may be able to help.
You see the isle of Mann is represented by three legs and would appear to be a detail of the arms of the Kings of Man on the Priest's tomb (probably that of Edward IV's chaplain de Grimsby)

Interestingly although the early representations showed the legs running clockwise (supporting the supposition they are derived from a sun symbol) later representations showed both clockwise and anticlockwise. This latter case gave rise to the pun:

With one leg I spurn Ireland,
With the second I kick Scotland,
And with the third I kneel to England.

And, Jim so possibly what we may have here is a derivation of Gules, three legs armed, conjoined in fesse at the upper part of the thighs, flexed in triangle, garnished and spurred.

By the way that is not a spelling error "fesse" is of Heraldry consisting of a horizontal band across a shield, conventionally occupying a third of its length and being wider than a bar
[from Anglo-French fesse, from Latin fascia band, fillet]

And so my friend I leave you with much to ponder. Good Luck with your quest!


Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Augustus

You have a remarkable fund of knowledge!I know very little about heraldry; the number and placement of legs was something that esacped me.

Max reckons that his Dad used a Finnish lion. However, I will have a look at the Manx one.