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Douglas Michael Dehn

Registration number 20150610F

This certifies that the heraldic arms of Douglas Michael Dehn are registered as an original design and described by the blazon below

Arms: Argent, between three star-crosses Gules, a chevron Sable, in base a cauldron also Sable, branded with a serpent coiled erect Argent, like that of Gadsden Flag.
Crest: On a wreath Argent and Sable is set for crest, a monogram chi-rho Or, within a chaplet laurel Vert.
Mantling: Sable doubled Argent
Motto: Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam - Dominus Providebit
(I will either find a way or make one - The Lord will provide)


The armiger had been informed that his maternal grandfather was a first generation US citizen of parents who had emigrated from Germany. The most common search for heraldic images for the name Dehn does result in armorial bearings with a Germanic origin (A shield with the blazon being a gold or yellow shield with a black pot or kettle above which is a horizontal row of three silver or white stars or star fish), but as no direct connection can be established between the armiger and the historical heraldic arms described above for the name Dehn, he decided to create his own. Wanting to pay tribute to the historic heraldic arms associated with the name Dehn while creating a heraldic arms unique to himself, the armiger decided to combined elements from the historic heraldic arms associated with the name Dehn with those of the historic heraldic arms associated with the name Damron (A shield with the blazon being a white or silver shield with a black chevron and three solid red circles, two evenly spaced above and on either side of the top of the chevron and one below and centered within the chevron), the maiden name of his second wife.

The color scheme for the shield was adopted from the historic heraldic arms associated with the name Damron. The white color of the shield represents peace, sincerity, honesty and purity. The black color of the pot and chevron represent consistency. The red color of the stars represents magnanimity (generosity) and the strength of a warrior. The symbolism behind each element of the shield is as follows.

The chevron, in addition to being an element of the historic heraldic arms associated with the name Damron, is classically associated with protection or military service. For the armiger, the chevron served as a reminder that a man is the protector of his family. The chevron also served as a reminder of the sacrifice of those who serve in the military. While the armiger never served in the military, many of his family members had. His maternal grandfather and great uncle (his grandmother’s brother) Howard Drake both served in the US Air Force during the Second World War. The armiger's step-father served in the 101st Army Airborne division. Many of the armiger's cousins had also served in the military, and the armiger wished to never marginalize the service of any of those who serve or had served in the military.

The pot/kettle has no specific historical heraldic meaning, as it is not a common symbol utilized throughout heraldry as a whole. It is quite possible that it is a visualization of an ancient word looking or sounding like Dehn. The armiger chose to keep this element as the pot/kettle is the historical symbol associated with the name surname Dehn. He also chose to think of the pot/kettle as symbolizing hospitality and support of one’s family, as a large pot/kettle is designed to cook for a large group.

The snake on the face of the pot/kettle symbolizes both knowledge and defiance. The snake was the creature that tempted Eve into eating the forbidden fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. The rattlesnake, in the coiled position ready to strike, also represents defiance. The snake on the Dehn heraldic arms is the same snake as depicted on the Gadsden Flag, a historical American flag with a yellow field and a coiled rattlesnake with the words: “DON’T TRED ON ME” below the snake. The Gadsden flag symbolizes American patriotism, disagreement with the overbearing of government and a support of civil liberties. The armiger had a tattoo of the Gadsden coiled snake with the words “DON’T TRED ON ME” beneath the snake tattooed on his right calf.

In keeping with the three stars on the historic heraldic arms associated with the name Dehn and mixing that with the three red circles on the historic heraldic arms associated with the name Damron, the armiger created the three red stars, positioned where the three red circles were on the historic Damron shield. The stars, each with eight points and an elongated bottom ray, is intended to resemble the classic imagery associated with the star of Bethlehem. (The star that led the wise men to birthplace of Christ) The number of stars depicted on these heraldic arms, three, stays true to the original number of stars on the historic Dehn shield and the number of red circles on the historic Damron shield. The armiger also considered the three red stars significant because there were three wise men that sought and found Christ at his birth.

The crest of the heraldic arms is a Chi Rho within a wreath. The Chi Rho is an early Christogram (combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ) formed by superimposing the first two (capital) letters chi and rho (ΧΡ) of the Greek word for Christ. The Chi-Rho symbol was used by the Roman emperor Constantine I as part his military standard, known as the Labarum. The alpha (Α) and omega (Ω) are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and an appellation of Christ, the beginning and the end. The wreath in which the Chi Rho symbol is within symbolizes triumph, specifically, the triumph of Jesus Christ over the grave and death.

The last significant portion of these heraldic arms is the motto. The motto is written in Latin, "Aut viam inveniam aut faciam - Dominus providebit”, which translates into English as "I shall either find a way or make one - The Lord will provide." This motto illustrates the armiger’s determination to find solutions to any problem he encountered and his faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, to provide the means to obtain anything he truly needed.


Registered on 19 March 2015 by the American College of Heraldry, registration number 3763

Registered by

Douglas Dehn


Personal, Original, US, D

Roll of Arms