DMU’s coat of arms, logo and mace

DMU’s lion logo has a long history and originates with the City of Leicester coat of arms. As you can see below the City arms have two lions holding up a shield which is decorated with a cinquefoil (a French word meaning ‘5 leaves’). A helmet with decorative mantling sits on top of the shield, crested by a wyvern. Often mistaken for a dragon, the wyvern is similar but only has two legs. The motto ‘semper eadem’ means ‘always the same’.

Leicester coat of arms002

Below is an example from the 1897 prospectus showing how elements of the City arms were used by DMU’s predecessors.

1897-98 001

Leicester Polytechnic was granted its own coat of arms, which still incorporated elements from the old coat of arms including the lion and the cinquefoil. A kestrel was added and the motto changed to ‘excellentia et studium’, meaning ‘excellence and zeal’.

Commemorative booklet 1992026

In 1992 it was decided to create a new logo for the De Montfort University, but still maintain continuity with the old coat of arms. Therefore a lion was chosen, with the cinquefoil embedded in his mane. The lion is sometimes mistaken for a griffin, but griffins are beaked like birds.

CT 10 de montfort logo 1990s

Elements of the logo are incorporated into DMU’s ceremonial mace and staves, used during graduation ceremonies.

DMU ceremonial mace 3       DMU ceremonial stave 2

The mace was designed by Nigel Kenwood and made in the silver-working department of the Polytechnic. The ceremonial staves were also designed and made in-house, by Neil Harding.

About Katharine Short

When I was 13 every careers questionnaire I did at school suggested I become an archivist. In rebellion I studied History of Art at Cambridge and the Courtauld Institute before giving in to the inevitable and undertaking a qualification in Archives Administration at Aberystwyth University. I worked at King’s College London Archives and the London Metropolitan Archives before becoming the Archivist here at DMU in January 2013. My role is hugely varied: answering enquiries and assisting researchers, sorting, cataloguing, cleaning and packaging archival material, managing our environmentally controlled storage areas, giving seminars, talks and tours, researching aspects of University history, liaising with potential donors and advocating for the importance of archives within the organisation. I am one of those incredibly fortunate people who can say ‘I love my job’ and really mean it.
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