I've seem some disturbing ATS posts about the obscure symbolism in Peter Turkson's coat of arms and how it may or may not relate to the last pope and
the Malachi Prophecies, Aliens, tribulation etc.
Well, I am here to tell you that as much as I want to find weird classic Satanic connotations...I can't. Unless you consider West African symbolism
Alrighty, let's begin:
First of all let us get the basics out of the way. The red ufo on top with the cascading ropes, knots and bells is actually a hat, and it's called the
"Galero". It comes from the Latin "Galerum" and it simply means cap or hat made of skin. From galea (“helmet”).
Personal opinion: Would love to think it's an UFO but let's face it, it's just a hat. However, there may be some interesting
numerology/hierarchy hook and line that I might want to bite at some point.
Ecclesiastical heraldry: The galero (or "ecclesiastical hat") is still in use today in ecclesiastical heraldry as part of the achievement of the
coat of arms of an armigerous Catholic cleric. The ecclesiastical hat replaces the helmet and crest, because those were considered too belligerent for
men in the clerical state. The color of the hat and number of tassels indicate the cleric's place in the hierarchy. Generally, priests and ministers
have a black hat with cords and tassels, the number depending upon their rank. Bishops generally use a green hat with green cords and six green
tassels on each side, archbishops have likewise a green hat with green cords and ten green tassels on each side, and cardinals have a red hat with red
cords and fifteen red tassels on each side. Depiction in arms can vary greatly depending on the artist's style.
Now let's move on to the knots. Specifically, the figure eight knot a.k.a the "Savoy" or "Fleming" knot. The name of this knots is given by its
characteristic appearance. It is the most important stop knot for sailors and navigators and is used to prevent the ends are despasen of pulleys,
grommets or eyebolts.
It is also known by the names of knot "Flemish or Savoy" knots.
It's appearance has been intertwined seen as a symbol of affection crossed.
In heraldic has the meaning of true love, appearing in different shields.
Personal opinion: The knot might just symbolize attachment or being "bound" by the title, hierarchy or the church laws. Whenever I
feel like stretching it I will say it reminds me of the infinity symbol.
The golden cross behind the shield is the "Crosier"
Personal opinion: It's pretty literal, it's a pastoral staff. The Egyptian kings did use a shepherd's crook as spiritual rod and
later the shepherd's crook was adopted as a religious ruling insignia by the Christian clergy, so there might be something interesting there.
The crosier is symbol of authority and jurisdiction. This idea is clearly expressed in the words of the Roman Pontifical with which the staff is
presented to the bishop elect: "Accipe baculum pastoralis officii; et sis in corrigendis vitiis pies viens, judicium sine irâ tenens, in fovendis
virtutibus auditorum animos mulcens, in tranquillitate severitatis censuram non deserens" (Pont. Rom. 77). It is then, as Durandus (Rationale Divin.
Off., III, xv) says, borne by prelates to signify their authority to correct vices, stimulate piety, administer punishment, and thus rule and govern
with a gentleness that is tempered with severity.
The shield and it's diagonal red stripe. In heraldry signifies "Defense". Red (Gules) represents a Warrior or martyr / Military strength and
Personal opinion: The red martyrdom connotation seems to be interesting, especially if paired with the "defense" interpretation for
that type of shield. The eventually-assassinated pope prophecies are enticing, however, basing them on a simple symbol such as a color or shield shape
might be to general to jump to this exciting bandwagon.
Ok, now moving on to the symbols. Starting with top left. Open book with Alpha and Omega symbols. It means the beginning and the end. In the Christian
tradition, particularly the book of revelation, it represents Jesus Christ.
Personal opinion: Some people suggest that if he is in fact the infamous "Peter the Roman" then perhaps this is a reference to the
first and last Peter. However, other cardinals have this symbol in their coat of arms, such as Cardinal Giuseppe Betori and Cardinal Karl_Lehmann
Symbol on the top right. A castle on top of a body of water. Reminescent of Ghana's national coat of arms featuring the same symbol in the same
Personal opinion: Some folks believe this is the beast that arises out of the sea in the book of revelation, but in context with the
Cardinal's Ghanian roots, we might see a representation of the presidential palace in Accra on the Gulf of Guinea, and it symbolizes the national
The illustration in the center of the coat of arms. A golden cross with a symbol in the middle. This seems to be part of the African symbol system
called Adinkra used in Ghana, West Africa.
Personal opinion: Unless shown a stronger more logical interpretation, this shall suffice.
Now let's go to bottom right. The symbol seems to be the GOLDEN STOOL
Amid thunderous rumblings and a thick cloud of white dust, he conjured a Golden stool from the sky and it floated gently onto the laps of Osei
Tutu, thus proclaiming him head of a new dynasty for a new united nation. The stool thus contains the soul of Ashanti and as such the symbol of
nationhood. The Golden Stool which is kept under the strictest security and precaution is taken out only on exceptionally important occasions.
The three bent swords are probably Akafrenas, and seem to accompany the Golden stool in different types of illustrations and prints.
Personal opinion: This is the one symbol that confuses me. While I understand one would want cultural references in their coat of
arms, but as a Cardinal, religious symbolism of this nature seems a little bold and also seems to have a deeper meaning that (right now) escapes me. I
have to research more about this Golden stool before voicing an educated opinion.
The final symbol on the bottom right. The Ave Maria symbol.
Personal opinion: This one seems self-explanatory, unless you want to entertain those other interpretations. Which? these:
edit on 12-3-2013 by lupodigubbio because: (no reason given)
Ok guys, in conclusion I feel like the symbolism for this particular case are pretty well defined. I am not one to judge any interpretations about
this or any other coat of arms just wanted to share my views. Thx for the read!
edit on 12-3-2013 by lupodigubbio because: fixing