Heraldry for the Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy
The primary colors are red, white and blue to remind us of our nation’s colors. The Alpha and Omega… the appellation of Christ from Revelation is in the outer band of the crest to remind chaplains that everything we do is encompassed by the Creator of the universe and Author of our salvation. The St. George banner displays our clear relationship to our Anglican Communion.
The red and white cross hash background are the colors and related flag of St. Martin of Tours, who we regard as the father of chaplaincy… it is cut diagonally to remind us that he severed his cloak to give to the beggar. The red also represents the blood of Christ, and white is our cleansing by that blood – placed in the upper half because it cleanses us as we move heavenward.
The crozier is indicative of our pastoral charge and responsibility to guard the flock. The keys represent both the message of the Gospel – at the heart of what we do – and St. Peter – because we are part of the historic Apostolic Church. Together they covertly form the Chi-Rho symbol, one of the earliest known monograms representing Christ (first two letters of Christ in Greek), and this is all at the center of the crest reminding us that our ministry is centered in Christ.
Using symbols (crozier and keys) to create the Chi-Rho symbol covertly is purposeful. There is also a cross within the crozier hook that is flanked by a cross in each key to remind us of the crucifixion scene of our Lord. This covert symbolism reflects the underground, secret, and persecuted Church who cannot openly celebrate their love for Christ, and the chaplains who are often called upon to minister to them. The inner band around the center symbols is colored red to remind us of the blood of the martyrs – the seed of the church – now a cloud of witnesses.
The Words “Ad Gloriam Dei” meaning “To the Glory of God” expresses the purpose, call, ministry and work of all chaplains.