Winchester Coat of Arms
The Winchester Coat of Arms was granted October 3, 1826 to Henry Winchester, Esq.
Crest: In front of a cross-crosslet-fitch (combination of cross and sword) or a lion passant azure (blue lion), the dexter fore-paw supporting a mascle (hollowed-out diamond), as in the arms.
Lion on Crest: signifies King of beasts; emblematic of service.
Mantling on Crest: A large scarf of heavy cloth or leather thrown over the helmet to protect the neck from the heat of the sun, the armour from rust, and to foil the enemy's sword. There is a wreath of the colors holding the mantling on to the helmet, six strands showing (the first of the metal, second of the color, and then alternating). The crest rests upon this six-stranded wreath.
Arms: Ore (gold), on a cross azure pierced of the field, between four mascles gules, as many cross- crosslet-fitches argent … which means … a gold shield with a blue cross pierced between four red hollowed-out diamonds, and four pointed crosses (cross azure means blue cross; mascles gules means red hollowed-out diamonds; and cross-crosslet-fitches argent are a combination of cross and sword, silver or white in color)
Mascle: A diamond shaped figure with the center cut out. Guilim says, "This is a mesh of net, which in Holy Writ, is the hieroglyphic for persuasion."
Crosses: All crosses denote Crusader ancestry. The plain blue cross extending across the shield represents the Passion Cross of Calvary.
The cross-fitchee, or pointed cross, has an interesting story. Picture a band of men (Crusaders) who are mounted, with banners flying. These banners, their cloaks, their shields, and the blankets on the horses are all beating a cross in some form (painted or sewn, and having the same color and form).
These Crusaders are going through a wilderness section, and the going is rough. The sun is at the zenith point. Men and horses alike stumble under the excessive heat, but "Halt!" comes the command, in English, in French, in German or Italian, according to the country from which they came.
The men look up and see a cross held aloft. It is their signal for noon-tide prayer, and is held by the leader. The cross is made of a branch slashed from a tree during their marches, and is roughly shaped with the aid of a crude knife. It is pointed (fitchee)—so when prayer time is over, the leader plants the cross in the ground, the point easing the way into the sand. This cross points the way for the next band approaching.
Hoc ardua vincere docet, which means “This teaches us to overcome difficulties.”
Representative of the personal characteristics of the original bearer, and are granted only upon merit.
• Ore: Gold color that denotes generosity and elevation of mind.
• Gules: Red color that denotes military courage and magnanimity.
• Argent: Silver color that denotes sincerity and peace.
• Azure: Blue color that denotes loyalty and truth.