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Coat of arms and university logo

The coat of arms is the heraldic symbol of a university. The coat of arms is used in university seal to certify and validate official documents of the university.

In what situations are they used?

The coat of arms is an emblematic description of the founding of a university. The coat of arms or university seal are used only for official or ceremonial occasions of great formality. They are of a higher level of formality than a logo.

In general, they are used on invitations for formal university events, materials for commencement or accreditation, certificates, awards or commemorative pieces. They may also be associated with communications of the Executive Office. In addition, the university seal is used to imprint documents of student academic achievement, such as diplomas, certificates or transcripts. Such use is restricted to the Registrar.

There is only one university seal, for use by all its faculties, schools and departments. The Secretary of the University, as "Keeper of the Seal," retains authority for the symbolism and use of the coat of arms and university seal, and will resolve any conflicts regarding their use.

The coat of arms and university seal are not substitutes for the university logo and signature. The coat of arms is not to be accompanied by marks of faculties or schools. The unversity logo is the proper identifying mark for such use. It is unlikely situations will occur when it is appropriate to use both the coat of arms and the logo and signature on the same publication. Only one symbol should be used to identify the university on any project.

The coat of arms and university seal are the most solemn and exalted of a university's symbols. They are not to be applied to situations that are in any way undignified, capricious or non-traditional.


  1. This post discussed the meaning of the city of Derby's coat of arms.

  2. Motto: Latin: Experientia docet
    Motto in English: "Experience Teaches"


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