If I may, I'd like to reinforce the point made in Kiralora's excellent and informed posts. There is no reason to believe the crest on the castle ISN'T a valid coat of arms for Disney.
To illustrate, check out these different coats of arms, all for the surname Smith:
You may note certain similarities (helmet on top, etc.), but plenty of variations.
The heraldry on the castle and the "other" Disney heraldry displayed by Steve at the start of this thread are, in fact, far more similar than these--indeed, more similar than they are different. This leads me to think that both might be valid instances of Disney family heraldry.
Kiralora was correct in stating that COAs belonged to individual nobility, not to families. What often happens is that descendants, themselves no longer noble, dig up the arms of their last known noble ancestor and adopt those as the "family COA". But those results can vary--for one, because research itself varies, and because different branches of the family may have exited the nobility at different times.
So, we seem to be mis-framing the question. The matter at hand is not whether the COA on the castle is the "correct" one for the Disney family, but whether it is intended to be such. It is entirely plausible that Walt (or an assistant) might have asked someone to dig up "the Disney coat of arms" and received this as a result. If the result was erroneous (to a small or large degree), I don't think he would have noticed; something tells me it wasn't painted on the side of the barn in Marceline, MO.
I've been gone for 2 book signings for the past few days and missed this thread. It looks like there is no definitive answer to the remaining 2 shields on the back of the Castle?
What about the Disneyland Story video with Steve Martin saying that it is the Disney family crest?
In all honesty, I don't think it really matters. Then again, I'm not one to ask how a magician does it. Disneyland is filled with stories, you can sit there and pull them apart, or take them for what they are...stories.
P.S. The Walt Disney Family Museum is a wonderful place. You can also meet Diane Disney Miller there on a good day ;-) Have fun with your which hunt.
Anyway, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. However, some of us are historically and factually inclined, and enjoy the search for facts. We find out that learning about the magician's trick doesn't make the magic go away--it makes it all the more interesting.
"Azure, a chevron argent between 2 anchors and a cow passant Or, a chief per pale 1 Gules, a mitre Or, and 2 paly Or and gules."
Hmmmm.... Two boat anchors and a cow.
But I shouldn't talk. The crest for "Mackintosh" is a kitten showing it's nasty claws. :bang: Mess with the Mackintoshes and we'll give you a nasty scratch that might get infected.
There ya go. :)
Here's the website of someone named Virginia Disney, a painter from Provence, France. She seems to be proud of her heritage. "I would like to tell you about the origin of the name Disney," she writes. "My ancestors were French and hailed from Normandy. Set deep in an inlet of Calvados county is the small town of Isigny. The inhabitants of the place were generally known as “d’Isigny” (of Isigny) hence the name. Later this was shortened to Disney."
If you go here:
Virginia Disney : About the Artist
...you'll see her "About the Artist" page. It includes a Disney coat of arms identical to the one on the castle. It also includes the motto Vincit Qui Patitur, or "He who is patient wins".
It's interesting to note that this Virginia Disney--who has lived in Provence since the age of six--makes no reference to Walt Disney, or to American Disneys whatsoever. Given that her heraldry not only agrees with but expands upon the image on the castle (i.e., it is in color, and includes the motto), the folks at Disneyland who researched the matter may well have encountered this branch of the family.
Since her Contact link's on that page, perhaps someone might want to drop Virginia Disney a line, and ask for her story about the coat of arms? That would be interesting. :ap:
I'm on the hunt! The discovery of the above instance of a Disney family motto led me to page 287 of The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Volume 1, originally published in 1884.
There are six different heraldries for Disney. The fifth one, for "Disney (Lincolnshire)" is most interesting:
This is shorthand for "Argent three lions passant in pale gules". Which means, roughly: White shield, with three lions, walking, in the midsection of the shield." Actually, passant means specifically "walking, with the right fore paw raised and all others on the ground."Quote:
Ar. three lions pass. in pale gu.
Check it out for yourself:
The general armory of England ... - Google Books
This doesn't prove that this is the RIGHT Disney heraldry for the castle (Walt's family never claimed to be descended from Lincolnshire, so far as I know). But it does indicate that at least some Disneys did indeed have the three lions as a central motif. And the bottom line is that clearly there were several variants (see the other entries for Disney), in the UK alone. In France, the country of origin for the D'Isney surname, there are likely to be several more.
If Walt left a central decorative element of his Castle blank for ten years, it wasn't by accident. And when he filled it at last, I find it hard to believe he was tossing up a fabrication, or just decor. The symbolism here's too important for that. And Walt wasn't a slapdash kind of guy.
Thanks for this great find, Von Drake. That's really the same one that's on the castle, isn't it? If Walt was looking for the Disney coat of arms in 1965, I think it's important to remember what the world was like before the internet. Someone found a book somewhere in a library...or maybe someone in Walt's family...Roy or his sister had a copy of a book which showed the coat of arms in question. Or maybe he just handed it off to someone in the company and they made some phone calls. In either case, I think you've just confirmed the fact that there is more than one coat of arms for the Disney family, and the one Virginia has on her page is the one in question found on the castle.
Nicely done! :thumbup: