Why are different Haskell Family Crest or Coats of Arms used?
In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was
also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th
century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. The single common feature of
all Haskell shields, family crests and coats of arms is the vair or ermine fur pattern on the shield or arms in black
and white. Some have an apple tree crest pierced with an arrow. Three different mottoes have been used.
Arms - Vairé argent et sable: black and white
Crest - On a mount, an apple tree fructed proper.
Mottoes - Cragnez Honte-Aymez Loyaute : Fear Shame, Love Loyalty
Vincit Veritas: Truth Conquers
Gardez bien: Guard well
Coats of arms are hereditary awards to individuals from the College of Heralds. Mr. D. Keith Haskell, CMG, CVO Her Majesty's Ambassador to
Brazil 1995-1999 is the only known Haskell to have been awarded his own coat of arms. There is no record of earlier formal recognition of any
Haskell coat of arms. Companies created variations in order to sell their wares. Each of the Haskell family organizations uses its own version of
the Haskell Family Crest.
"The legend is this: at the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror, being faint from the lack of food, saw in the distance, near the lines of
Harold, an apple tree in fruit. Expressing the belief that some of the apples would revive him until the fortunes of the day should be decided,
one of his attendant knights, Roger de Haskell by name, dashed forward amid a shower of the enemy's arrows and brought to his sovereign a
scarf filled with the fruit, whereupon the Conqueror bade him bear as his crest a fruit-bearing apple tree pierced by a flying arrow. The arrow
seems to have disappeared, but the apple-tree remains as a reminder to posterity of the courage of an early progenitor."
Americana Illustrated, Volume 21 No. 3, a publication of the American Historical Society, Third Quarter, 1927 by Herbert A. Hull.
Coats of arms do not officially include the ribbon or ribbons at the head or foot of the shield which usually contain the family name or the family
motto. It is possible that the black and white shield had the apple tree with the pierced arrow superimposed on its main body and not as shown
today. It would have been most impractical to have had an apple tree shape protruding above a shield and covering the face in battle!
The battle shield most likely had the shape indicated in the illustration 'Haskell Vair". The helmet most probably indicates the association with
the household troops called Housecarls. Individuals may design their own variation to reflect personal associations and life achievements. The
design used on the masthead on this website is my version.
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