The Coat Of Arms
The basic Dunlop shield, essentially duplicated by the cadet branches of the family, is a double-headed eagle with wings displayed outwardly on either side. The eagle is the king of birds. To have this bestowed on a member of the Family as their symbol is considered a great honor. The heraldic eagle signifies high station, fair judgment, understanding and strength. The eagle with wings displayed signifies energy and continuous activity. A quotation from the "Display of Heraldry" states: "with wings displayed shows that the Eagle is not idle but continually practices in the course of Life which nature has given her. She signifies an active man who is of high spirits, ingenious, quick of understanding, and a fair judge, especially in ambiguous matters." Among other noble qualities in the Eagle, her strength and sharpness of fight are much admired and it is " a great honor in one of noble birth to be wise and of quick and deep understanding.. than to be rich, or powerful, or great just by birth."
The two-headed eagle used on the Dunlop shield is believed to signify authority, from both East and West. In early Britain that meant Rome to the East and Ireland to the West. the Eagle is seen in many colors, on many colors, but always overlaid one eagle over the other. It was first seen used by Isabel de St Vrain in 1262 in Britain, by the Dunlops, Jordan's, Spekes and Barry's. It was also used by the Imperial Holy Roman throne, both East and West. In Germany by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, who joined the two eagles together with their heads separate to show the two empires joined in him. The Turkish dynasty of the Seljuk's used the two-headed eagle, along with the Grand Duke Ivan Basilovitz of Moscow in 1472. Stephan Nenaja, Czar of Servia and Bosnia assumed the double eagle but it was silver on red in 1340. The Emperor Louis the Bavarian used it in 1314 and Matthew Paris in 1307. and Emperor Wenleslaus , King of Bohemia used it in 1376.
The following Coats of Arms are registered under the Dunlop, Dunlap, and DeLap Names in Ireland and Britain
The Crest, with its Right hand holding a dirk, signifies prowess in battle . The motto, "Merito", means deservedly. This is borne out through the centuries by the fact that the Dunlops were always highly respected. One may notice that branches of the Families Dunlop had slight differences in the Crest, with some daggers erect and others slanted. Heraldry explains that cadet Families could choose different crests. In the case of the Dunlop Kirk window, it was donated by a cadet Family. The main Branch of Dunlops who lived at Dunlop House held an erect dagger in their crest. This is where our clan badge originates. The red and white signify the colors of the livery, or cloaks worn over the armor. Today's Dunlop wears a red and white cloth under the Clan Badge to honor that.
The Arms were held by the Main Branch of the Family in Dunlop. The current Chief of the Name, James Wallace-Dunlop, descendant of Frances Anna Wallace Dunlop, is eligible to matriculate those Arms. This current James is the 30th of that Ilk.
In Britain, Arms are taken very seriously, and cannot be displayed by one merely because you have the Name. Some cadet branches of Dunlop still have the right to bear the Dunlop Arms, but will have an additional symbol in the corners above the Shield Eagle, IE the bluebird in upper left of the Arms on the right:
Other Dunlop Families that have descended from the Dunlop's of Dunlop have incorporated the two-headed eagle into their own Arms, signifying that they are of the proud Dunlop lineage:
Buchanan-Dunlop of Drumhead, Cardross, Dunbartonshire
Dunlop of Glasgow
Findlay of Boturich, Dunbartonshire
Boyle, Earl of Glasgow, Kelburn castle, Fairlie, Ayrshire
The Chief's coat of arms fulfils within the clan or family the same purpose as the Royal Arms do in a Kingdom. There is no such thing as a "family crest" or "family coat of arms" which anyone can assume, or a whole family can use.
Armorial bearings, of which the Crest is a subsidiary part, are a form of individual heritage property, devolving upon one person at a time by sucession from the grantee or confirmee, and thus descend like a Peerage. They indicate the Chief of the Family or Clan, or the Head of each subsidiary line or household descending from members who have themselves established in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland a right to a subsidiary version of the arms and crest, containing a mark of difference indicating their position in the Family or Clan. This is not a "new" coat of arms, it is the ancient ancestral arms with a mark of cadency, usefully showing the cadet's place within the family. It identifies where you, and your own heirs, belong within the family. It is, as well as being beautiful, a valuable system of identification.
The parts of the armorial bearings consist of:
The Shield, bearing the basic device
The Helmet, with its Crest, which sits on top of the helmet
The Motto in a scroll
The Mantling or cape, which kept the sun off the wearer's armour in hot weather
Very rarely, two Supporters on either side of the shield, which are external attributes of the arms of Peers, Chiefs and a very few other persons of special importance, including Knights Grand Cross of Orders. It is illegal to assume and purport to use your Chief's arms without a due and congruent recorded difference. Anyone who does so merely publishes their own ignorance.
There is no such thing as a "Clan coat of arms". The arms are those of the Chief, and clansmen have only the privilege of wearing the strap-and-buckle crested badge to show they are such Chief's clansmen.
One cannot have a crest without first having a shield of arms, because the crest was a later addition. Misuse of crests arises from misunderstanding of the badge rule under which junior members of the family may wear in specified manner their Chief's crest as badge.
The Crest of the Chief is worn by all members of the Clan and of approved Septs and followers of the Clan, within a strap and buckle surround bearing the Chief's motto. This is for personal wear only, to indicate that the wearer is a member of the Clan whose Chief's crest-badge is being worn. The badge or crest is not depicted on personal or business stationery, signet rings or plate, because such use would legally import that the tea-pot, etc., was the Chief's property!
Those who wish to use arms in any particular sense must petition for a Grant of Arms or -- if they can trace their ancestry back to a direct or, in some cases collateral, ancestor -- a "cadet matriculation" showing their place with the family. Forms of Petition and sample proof-sheets relative to such application can be supplied if required.
When a grant, or matriculation, of arms is successfully obtained, an illuminated parchment, narrating the pedigree as proved, is supplied to the Petitioner, and a duplicate is recorded in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland and/or the Public Register of Genealogies and Birthbrieves.
Application for such a Confirmation, by Letters Patent or Matriculation, from the Lord Lyon King of Arms is the only way to obtain a genuine coat of arms.
(Note: This information was taken from a leaflet published by the Court of the Lord Lyon, HM New Register House, Edinburgh, EH1 3YT.)