The Origin of the Name and Arms of Quintavia

The Origin of the Name and Arms

By Master Robert Whitcome of Brandywine

Per fess indented of three points vert and argent, on a pale between in base two laurel wreaths, in chief a laurel wreath, all counterchanged.

Quintavia (Five Roads) was proposed as the new name of the Shire because of our vast size and the distance that the original members lived from each other. It took most members at least five roads to get to any meeting. The choice of which roads were up to each individual and diversity was encouraged. The name was suggested by either Nan or Ray (no record or memory of their SCA names, both were historical scholars) and was recognized by the members of the Shire almost immediately and unanimously as the perfect name for our Shire.

barbarianThe arms of Quintavia started with the hieroglyph for Barbarian or Foreigner. The hieroglyph represents the staff of the traveler from over the mountains and represented foreigner or barbarian. The Shire had been incipient forever, and was considered somewhat barbaric by our more organized neighbors. Also, to get to events, we actually had to travel. The hieroglyph seemed a good place to start. The general opinion was a hieroglyph was NOT going on the Shire’s arms! At the next meeting, someone, working with the design of the hieroglyph, suggested the “Per Fess” of three points and the pale and a single wreath.  The two additional wreaths were added to commemorate the combined Shires.

Symbolism (some intentional, some serendipitous)

The pale represents our central location in Massachusetts.

The zigzag line represents three roads wandering through the hills while the two lines of the pale represent the two major roads (exactly which
roads are represented is left to the viewer). The fact that zigzag line is considered three different roads is explained by the New England habit of changing the name of a road every time it crosses a town line.

Three Laurel Wreaths represent Quintavia (center) and the two original Shires.  The Quintavian Wreath is elevated over the two defunct Shires.

Green was chosen because wreaths are green, the central hill would be green, and because we liked it.  Argent was chosen over gold representing snow, and no one wants yellow snow in their Shire.


alt: Name and Arms