On the occasion of the World Communications Sunday on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, the Archdiocese of Manila through its Chancery Office released an improved version of the archdiocese’s coat of arms and the style guide for its use.
Fr. Reginald Malicdem, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Manila released a circular letter dated May 16, 2021, addressed to all the clergy and religious men and women in the Archdiocese of Manila.
“It has been observed that there have been several versions now of the RCAM coat of arms. Many took the liberty of altering some elements of the arms without being commissioned by the Archdiocese of Manila. Principles of heraldry and design should regulate the use of the RCAM coat of arms,” Fr. Malidem said in the circular.
“The original explanation of Archbishop Mariano A. Madriaga, the designer of the arms, and as drawn by Galo Ocampo should be respected,” he added.
The style guide, Fr. Malicdem said “will present the improved RCAM coat of arms and lay down the guidelines for its proper use. The style guide will also “show the evolution of the designs of the RCAM coat of arms, explain its elements, colors and typography, and its official variations and inappropriate usages”.
The castle in the coat of arms originated from the arms of the Kingdom of Castile, and was changed into a tower to represent God Himself–a tower of strength against the enemy (Psalm 60:4). The three windows make the tower reflect the Blessed Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three Persons in one God. The silver crescent moon represents the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Manila Cathedral, the Archdiocese of Manila, and of the entire Philippines. The sea lion historically called the Ultramar (in Latin ultra means from beyond and mar connotes the sea) was a distinctive emblem given by the King of Spain to the City of Manila as an overseas colony. The sword held by the sea lion was substituted with a cross carried by the early Christians on their pilgrimages. The miter, a symbol of rank and responsibility for prelates, representing the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Manila as a diocese established by the Pope and given to the care of the Archbishop. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)