From time to time we are asked about altering our clan crest badges to meet the special requirements of our customers. Usually the request is for a change in the spelling of the surname or perhaps changing the name to that of the customer. We cannot do that for a couple of reasons.
First, the badges we sell depict the crest badge of the Clan chief or perhaps a badge traditionally used by the Clan for many years. To change the name on the banner under the badge would, in effect, amount to usurpation of the Chief’s property and is very much like using the coat of arms of the chief as your arms even though they are not yours. In the US and most of the world, that is not considered serious. However, in Scotland and the rest of the UK and Commonwealth it is taken quite seriously and can result in legal action. You may remember that Donald Trump decided to build a golf course in Scotland a few years ago. He adorned the entrance to the facility with a coat of arms which he claimed to be the “Trump” arms (his father was from Scotland). The authorities swiftly brought the situation to his attention and ultimately forced him to remove the arms which were not recorded in the Lyon Register. It is not quite the same thing as the previously cited examples of requested changes to our badges but the principal is the same. So, we simply cannot do that.
Second, our badges are made by a manufacturer in South Asia. We cannot and will not request that unsupported changes be made in the surnames or other parts of the badges without evidence that the changes should be made for legal or heradlic reasons. The cost and lead time would be too great to accomplish that.
We will also decline to make custom badges for customers who have bought a square foot of land in Scotland. Ads for these “souvenirs” claim that such a purchase will make the owner a “laird” but in fact it does not and any badge that might come along with such a transaction is not legitimate.
Thanks very much for your understanding of these matters.