clan graham society

Protocol for Armorial Bearings


We need to be correct in our use of terminology, badges, arms, mottos and flags. We represent the Clan Graham to the world and our desire is to represent our Clan appropriately.

There is a difference between "The Clan" and "The Clan Graham Society." When we refer to Clan, we are referring to family. When we refer to the Society, we are referring to an organization. The Clan Graham Society is part of the Clan and it is one of its principle representatives.

We can never use our Chief’s arms. It should only be displayed when he is present or when it is clearly indicated that it is his coat of arms. The Chief’s arms is not the Graham family arms. Arms are not issued to families; they are issued to individuals.

Our Clan badge shows the crest from our Chief’s coat of arms inside a buckled belt. The badge also shows his motto: "ne oublie" ("forget not" or "never forget"). The Clan Graham News displays this badge on the left side, which denotes greater importance.

The Clan Graham Society’s coat of arms was awarded by the Lord Lyon King of Arms of Scotland, Her Majesty’s Representative for Arms in Scotland. Receiving this award was a distinct honor for the Society. The shield uses the same colors as the Graham shield, but is differenced by the use of connected roundels. It is a gold shield with three gold escallops on black roundels (joined to show unity). Above the shield is a helmet. Above the helmet rests a wreath covered in black and gold (the Graham colors.) On the wreath is a falcon grasping in the right claw three chain links (to show unity.) The escrol above the falcon bears the Society’s motto: "Rioghail Agus Maraon" which means "loyal and united." The Clan Graham News displays the Society’s coat of arms on the right side. This Coat of Arms is legally reserved for the exclusive use of the Clan Graham Society.

As much as Scotsmen enjoy seeing and flying the "rampant lion," correct protocol demands that it be used only when the Queen is present. Since this is true, we as Grahams will show our respect by not flying the Lion Rampant flag at our sites. We can be satisfied that others will fly it so we will be able to see its stirring sight.

Further information may be found by researching Scottish heraldry.



duke arms


Clan Graham Badge

The Clan Graham badge is the crest from the arms of the Duke of Montrose, Chief of Clan Graham. The crest is surrounded by a buckled belt.

According to the Lord Lyon, King of Arms of Scotland, each generation should "difference" his arms from whomever it was inherited. Our Chief, the 8th Duke of Montrose, completed this procedure in 2002. The crest is an eagle killing a heron and perhaps the armorial convention for a heron is rather like a stork. Our earliest properties had very good salmon fishing and it would be easy to develop an antipathy to herons.





Society Coat of Arms

On June 8, 1994, the Clan Graham Society was granted the unique honor of having its own coat of arms approved by the Lord Lyon King of Arms for Scotland. This is the wording of the Lord Lyon's decree:

To all and whom sundry whom these presents do or may concern:

We, Sir Malcolm Rognvald Innis of Edingight, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Writer to Her Majesty's Signet, Lord Lyon King of Arms, send Greeting:

Whereas, Richard Graham, President, for and on behalf of Clan Graham Society, in North America having headquarters at 2563 River Knoll Drive, Lilburn, Georgia, United States of America, having by petition unto us of date 30 June 1993 Shown, that the said Society was founded during the Highland Gathering at Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina, in July 1975; that the said Society has a membership of approximately a thousand people, mainly resident in North America, who have Scottish ancestry with the surname Graham; and the Petitioner having prayed that there might be granted unto him for and on behalf of the Clan Graham Society in North America such Ensigns Armorial as might be found suitable and according to the Laws of Arms.

Know ye therefore that we have devised and do by these presents assign, ratify and confirm unto the Petitioner for and on behalf of Clan Graham Society in North America the following Ensigns Armorial, as depicted upon the margin here of, and matriculated of even date with these presents upon the 120th page of the 75 Volume of the Public Register of ALL Arms and Bearings in Scotland, VIDELICET: Or three pellets conjoined in chief Sable each charged with an escallop Or, Above the Shield is placed an helm suitable to an Incorporation (VIDELICET: - a sallet proper lined Gvles) with a Mantling Sable doubled Or, and on a Wreath of the Liveries is set for Crest a Falcon Proper, armed and beaked Or, grasping in the dexter claw three annulets conjoined Sable, and an Escrol over the same this Motto "RIOGHAIL AGUS MARAON" by demonstration of which Ensigns Armorial the said Clan Graham Society, in North America is amongst all Nobles and in all Places of honor, to be taken, numbered, accounted and received as a Society Noble in the Noblesse of Scotland.

In testimony whereof we have subscribed these presents and the Seal of Our Office is affixed hereto at Edinburgh this 8th day of June in the 43 Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of her Other Realms and Territories, Queen, head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, and in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety Four.




Read more about our Society's Protocol and Communication regarding our Chief, Chieftain, flags, banners, symbols and more from Vice President Guy Ericskon in this downloadable PDF guidelines HERE.