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Hibernian Coats of Arms and Insignia

Hibernia, or Ortho earth, a World of the Timestream in Rick Sutcliffe's Irish Christian Science Fiction, is ruled from Tara of Ireland as a constitutional monarchy supervising various client and dependent states. This page presents her national and army coats of arms, together with explanations of the heraldry and an army ID or "coff".


hibernian royal arms

The Royal Arms

The Hibernian Royal Arms are a crown above a shamrock flanked on the left with a harp and on the right by an anvil, the four in quarters created by crossed sword over cross. The arms may be embellished by a surmounted helm. The crown represents royal authority, the anvil Cormac Meathe, Ireland's second high king after Brian Boru, the shamrock greater Hibernian unity, and the small harp is one of the two instruments traditionally carried into battle. Both cross and sword appear to show that church and state are not separate, but the sword is above to assert its administrative authority in the earthly kingdom.

The official national arms are today differentiated from those of several families entitled to use the same shield and device by incorporating the national motto in scrollwork and/or three red lions beneath (depictions of the latter vary, and the colouring is modern). Similar family arms use other mottos, bear different heraldic animal symbols or use a different colour for the lions. However, when engraved in the royal swords, these arms both lacked the motto and were monochrome, making them hard to distinguish from one another.

NOTE:Ireland's motto (often written H.E.I.O.U.) is variously rendered as: "Hiberniae est imperare orbi universo" or Hiberniae Erit In Orbe Ultima", respectively "Hibernia will rule over all (the world)" or "Hibernia will exist until the world ends." However, on official crests, only the former is used.
hibernian army arms

The Army Arms

Hibernia's Royal Army uses a variation of the national arms with a black scale of justice replacing the shamrock, and may never incorporate embellishments, family icons, or other insignia. The cross from the national arms is replaced here by a staff. That this is a traditional fighting staff rather than that of a Brehon can readily be seen by its being quartered for grips rather than marked in sixths as one would a measuring staff. There have been several proposals to replace the staff with a fighting stick, which most modern soldiers carry, but rigid tradition have swept all these aside.
Hibernian army coff

An Army Coff

The Royal Army identity tag, universally termed by soldiers of all ranks a "coff" (for "coffin tag", because of the place where it ends) is a layered and hardened low power electronic storage device on a card punched for a steel chain. The surface incorporates the Army coat of arms with slightly reduced scrollwork on a green background and includes the name and rank of the soldier both engraved on the surface and stored in non-volatile internal memory. Stored information also includes a copy of the soldier's military and medical history which can be read by any higher ranked officer or by a medic. Some soldiers file an edge on one side using diamond abrasives to create an emergency weapon.
Hibernian army coff

A SpecialOps Coff

All Hibernian peace officers are soldiers. Depending on their function, some wear variations on the standard coff. Members of the elite Special Operative Force, who report to their regional domain's first lord or a member of the general staff, wear a coff that, when pressed on all four sides by its owner, clears to a blue background. The rank is replaced by "Special Operative Number xx". The scrollwork with motto changes to the command "Lend All Assistance". An operative who displays this credential outranks every soldier except one more senior in SpecialOps. Internally, the SpecialOps coff circuitry is enhanced to include communication with the wearer's PIEA and/or satellite communication nodes. There is also a medical diagnostics circuit. Either separation of the soldier from the coff or a medical alert triggers a distress call to all other SpecialOps badges and the Tara general staff.

NOTE: Any coff is physically almost indestructible. However, extreme heat or magnetic fields will destroy the internal circuitry. In this case, the top surface of a SpecialOps coff will freeze partway through the transition to its special state. The cover of The General depicts such a case.

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This Arjay Enterprises page was last updated 2013 09 12