It might seem very archaic but it turns out you really can be stripped of your coat of arms. That is, if you used fraud to obtain it.
What seems to have happened is this. David Holliday, a Dallas attorney, wanted to be chief of the Halliday family. In Scotland, a chief of the name or clan gets to use the original coat of arms without differences to show a junior line. Holliday was granted the undifferenced arms of the last chief, John Halliday of Castlemains. He would have had to prove his descent, of course.
But that was a mistake. Maybe a simple genealogical mistake, but complicated by the fact he claimed to reside at Corehead Tower. It seems he didn’t, not really. Mailed addressed to him there was returned as “address unknown”.
The grant of arms to him was revoked.
Over the years I’ve known more than my share of aspiring clan chiefs, most with audacious schemes to prove up their claims. This seems on order with those.
I understand the glamour of it, although in my own opinion the clan system seems likely to have been oppressive for the common folk. Which doesn’t stop me from wearing my kilt now and then.
- Chris. “Halliday v Holliday : American Lawyer Stripped of Heraldic Arms.” Halliday of Scotland <hallidayofscotland.blogspot.com>, July 14, 2012. Retrieved Apr. 23, 2020.
Updated Apr. 23, 2020.