Today ... heraldry is more carefully consulted and guarded, more talked about and thought about, and more practically effective than it has been for several generations. ... In days of rapid levelling and the confounding of old distinctions men and bodies corporate will cling with more, not less, determination to the signs of their identity. They will be more, not less, careful to have those signs authorized by the proper powers and recognized by the world. In men and women the desire to be and to be known armigerous is a decent form of pride. It implies an idea of gentility as something other than the possession of wealth; it partakes, however scantily, of old notions about honour and its duties. The bearers of arms are looking for security, accuracy and beauty in their quaint but useful device for asserting their identity. On the other hand the experts and the guardians of the science, some of whom have played a great part in rescuing it from neglect and misuse, are anxious to make it serviceable and to make it pure. ... And thus in the present position and use of heraldry may be seen two tendencies, both of which are marked in the present era. There is the tendency to study and preserve the past, which gives archaeology an unequalled vogue and precision, and there is the tendency to put old things to new uses, so that the shield of a mediaeval knight becomes of moment to a railway company or a bank."
© 1929 The Times