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Yale University

Registration number 20060928I

This certifies that the heraldic arms of Yale University are registered as an original design and are described by the blazon below

Arms: Azure an open book Argent edges Or charged with the Hebrew words אורים וְתּמִים Sable.
Motto: Lux et Veritas


Yale website:

Design Rationale

The iconography of the Yale shield (or "arms") is taken from the University's seal, which was adopted by the Trustees of Yale College in the early eighteenth century. The unknown designer of the seal identified the book as the Bible by words which read "Urim and Thummin," probably names of sacred lots to be cast for the purpose of ascertaining the divine will (cf. Exodus 28:30; Numbers 27:21; I Samuel 14:40 f.; Ezra 2:63).

When the Old Testament of the Bible was translated into Greek, the original meaning in Hebrew of "Urim and Thummin" was no longer known, and different words were used in different passages to translate them. Among the renderings given were "Light" and "Truth," and it is this interpretation which was chosen for the seal's legend and placed below the shield in Latin: Lux et Veritas.

The preceding text is adapted from The Arms of Yale University and its Colleges at New Haven, Yale University Press, 1963.

Registered by

Michael Swanson


Education, US, Y

Roll of Arms