Coats of arms, symbols and contemporary life at Yale University

For the first time in a long time, Yale University has opened a new professional Jackson School of Global Affairs. No new building has opened at Yale since 1976. The new School has assembled its own faculty, enrolled students, and has an indispensable attribute: the university department’s coat of arms ready. Should the university design a custom coat of arms? The tradition of establishing a coat of arms for a university has been around for a long time. Yale University is a serious Ivy League institution. There are only eight schools that make up the Ivy League. This means high quality education. As one of the oldest universities, it also benefits from highlighting its age. The coat of arms or emblem is an excellent means of doing this; the symbols express the university’s status, the highest quality of education, prestige and long tradition, combined with modern and the highest quality education. The newly created coat of arms for Yale College contains its own symbols that represent its activities. Yale University has its own specialist, and the teaching staff did not need to make a custom coat of arms. The direction, to create the coat of arms, belongs to John Gambell, he is a graphic designer and also a lecturer at Yale University. The design studio he founded in New Haven produces a number of print publications. The city of New Haven is also home to the university itself.

Yale University is in the Ivy League, a university tradition

The coat of arms of the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs is a shield divided into four parts. The upper left and lower right quarters of the shield show armillaries. This is an ancient instrument with a spherical shape, invented in Greece and China before our era, around the 3rd or 4th centuries. Armillary spheres were used to solve geometric, navigational, chronometric and other problems. They were also used to show the position of celestial bodies such as the sun, the moon, the stars and other planets relative to the earth. In the university’s coat of arms, the armillary spheres represent a set of complex issues, problems that would be addressed and resolved at the Jackson School. Three horizontal stripes, blue, white and blue, are drawn at the top right and bottom left of the shield. The symbolism of the stripes is based on the coincidence of colors with the maritime international signal flag; its colors suggest calm, when looking at the wide band of the horizon, and the calm sea.

Coat of arms of the Jackson School of Global Affairs at Yale

In the Middle Ages and earlier, more and more cities were being built; naturally, urban development was required, infrastructure was developing, and by that time, humanity had come to appreciate science and knowledge and their usefulness. Therefore, at the turn of the first millennium, educational institutions began to appear. Dozens and hundreds of students could study in such institutions at the same time. Such institutions needed a name. Since ancient times, people have followed traditions, one of them were signs and symbols used to identify architectural structures. Also, with the emergence of more and more educational institutions, the tradition of their own designations spread. These were used to attract attention and be remembered by future students. There was a practice where the family coat of arms of the university founder or a person who donated a large sum of money for its opening, was given to the university itself. Yale received its name in honor of the merchant who donated to the Encyclopaedic School, with which the history of the university began, the name of the merchant Eli Yale.

 The coat of arms of the university is a tradition

The first symbol known to history appeared at Yale in 1746, it was a coat of arms seal on a diploma belonging to Ezra Stiles. Master Stiles later became president of Yale. The coat of arms was a shield with an open book on it, with an inscription in Hebrew and Latin. In translation, the inscription means “Light and Truth”. Since then, Yale University has developed considerably, with each new building traditionally bearing its own coat of arms or emblem. Along with the development of cities, culture and trade relations, the art of heraldry grew and improved. The time came when an educational establishment could afford to make a coat of arms to order and put the desired meaning and content into it. Instead of using the family coat of arms of the person who contributed financially. Such a family coat of arms could remain as a symbol of honor. The architecture of university buildings conceals many sculptures, symbols and other objects of art. In the English University tradition of studying not just for a few hours but for a lifetime, Yale University is a teaching hospital. It offers accommodation for both students and teaching staff, socializing between students and attending and organizing various cultural events.

Coat of arms of Yale University, the seal of the coat of arms is applied to the diploma of the university Emblems and symbols at the university, old and new traditions

The University Library is the third largest of its kind in the world. It has a huge collection of literature, maps, music recordings and archives. Also part of the Yale library called Sterling Memorial Library is housed in a beautiful Gothic building, with frescoes, sculptures, heraldic animals, heraldic plants and other symbols depicted on its façade and interior. It is customary for competitions to be held between universities, so each has its own sports teams. Yale students are not to be confused with others, their letter “Y” being the university’s monogram embossed on T-shirts, baseball caps, and players’ uniforms. Inside and around the university is so beautiful that you can just enjoy walking around Yale. Yale University, in addition to the university monogram, has a living mascot, a bulldog puppy. He participates in student activities, is always welcome and, of course, the puppy is everyone’s favorite. The little bulldog was named Kingman and he is keeping up with his admirers and traditions, also wears clothes with the monogram of the university. That’s the story we told, and by telling it we answered the question asked at the very beginning whether a coat of arms should be custom-made. The decision is up to the university, the goals it pursues and the status it needs.

Yale Sterling Library, heraldry art, architecture The university's monogram and Yale's mascot, a puppy named Kingman

Photos taken from Yale University’s Instagram resources.