SYMBOLISM OF THE BABINEAU

COAT OF ARMS
Robert Pichette, D ès L, FRSA
of the Académie internationale d'héraldique
Dauphin Herald Extraordinary

Heraldry is both a science and an art.  It was born on the battlefields of Western Europe in the 12th century as a simple means of identifying the individual warriors who were completely covered by a suit of armour.  Thus, there arose an immediate need to distinguish friend from foe and symbols were added to the shields of the warring knights.

Heraldry has a distinctive language which borrowed from several languages, including Arabic. The "blazon" is the official description of the coat of arms rather than its pictorial representation.  The blazon for the Association des Babineau d'Acadie Inc. coat of arms reads as follows:

Or an ox-eye daisy slipped and conjoined with two laurel branches proper, a chief of Acadia (tierced in pale Azure a mullet Or, Argent and Gules); and upon a helmet mantled Azure doubled Or within a wreath of these colors, this Crest: Issuant from a circlet of apples Gules leaved Vert, a windmill Or its sails Gules.

An explanation of the terminology:
"Or" is gold, or yellow.

"proper" means that the laurel branches are of a natural color, in this instance, green.

"slipped" is used in heraldry to indicate that the flower has a stem; a "chief" means a horizontal division of the shield in its upper part

"tierced" indicates that it is divided in three equal parts.

"mullet" refers to a five-pointed star.

"Argent" is silver, or white.

"Gules" applies to the color red.

"Azure" is the color blue.

"Vert" is French for green (but is referred to as "sinople" in French heraldry).
The term "crest" refers specifically and exclusively to those symbols found above the shield, resting on a wreath that reproduce the principal colors of the shield. Thus the colors of the Association des Babineau d'Acadie Inc. are gold and blue. The crest is usually, but not always, depicted on a helmet which was a headgear worn to protect the head of the warrior.  The mantling was a veil placed on the helmet to protect the knight or warrior from the rays of the sun.

The symbolism:

The daisy - a "marguerite" in French,  alludes to the Christian name of the wife of the first Babineau settler, Marie-Marguerite Granger, born around 1668, who married Nicolas Babineau dit Deslauriers (ca 1653-1723), around 1689.  His surname, which translates literally as "laurels", is illustrated by branches of laurels.  Thus, both first ancestors are commemorated on the shield.  The founding family is further enhanced by the fact that both the daisy and the laurel branches are joined together. The pioneer couple appears on the 1693 census of Acadia at Pentagouët (Castine, Maine).  The couple later moved to the Dauphin River (now the Annapolis River) at Port-Royal (now Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia).

The chief (top potion of the shield depicting the National flag of the Acadians) is a first from the Canadian Heraldic Authority.  It reproduces the Acadian flag adopted by the second Acadian National Convention held at Miscouche, Prince Edward Island, in 1884.  Msgr. Marcel-François Richard was its most ardent proponent and the prototype of the flag, now preserved in the Musée Acadien of the Université de Moncton, was sewn by Mrs. Alphée Belliveau, née Marie Babineau. The gold star, called a mullet in English heraldry, is the "Star of the Sea", a symbol of Hope, and a principal symbol of Our Lady of the Assumption, patron saint of Acadia, chosen as such at the first Acadian National Convention, at Memramcook, in 1881. The helmet alludes to Nicolas Babineau dit Deslauriers' service as a soldier under Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie, Baron de Saint-Castin. The apples and windmill are taken from the coat of arms borne by the civic community of Soudan, in the Vienne Department of France, where Joseph Babineau, father to Nicolas, lived.  His wife was Louise Bordage.
The motto:
S'UNIR POUR GRANDIR may be translated as United to grow.  It alludes, of course, to the principal symbols on the shield, the daisy and the laurel branches since the union of Nicolas Babineau dit Deslauriers and Marie-Marguerite Granger are the ancestors of a large number of descendants regrouped in the Association.  It also recalls the motto of Acadia - L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE (Strength in Unity) - also adopted in 1884 by the Acadian delegates in Miscouche.  The motto was chosen by members of the Association des Babineau d'Acadie Inc., New Brunswick, Canada.

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