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Posted on 03/20/2013

The charges ( animals, divisions, etc.) depicted on a coat of arms (family crest) can sometimes be the result of great family legends and stories. One of the best comes from the Scottish family name Cunningham. The story dates back to Duncan ( 1001-1040) the first King of Scotland, who was murdered by Macbeth. Duncan’s son Malcolm Canmore, being chased by Macbeth’s forces, hid in the barn of Malcolm Friskin. Friskin hid Canmore by heaping layers of straw over him with a pitchfork to hide him. When the Macbeth army arrived at Friskin’s farm he denied having seen Canmore at all, saving the prince’s life in the process.

17 years later Malcolm Canmore defeated Macbeth in battle and became King Malcolm III of Scotland. He awarded Friskin the Thanedome Of Cunninghame. The coat of arms (family crest) is a white shield with a black shakefork ( an abstract form of the pitchfork) The family motto is “Over, Fork, Over” recalling the day the King’s life was saved.

At www.shieldandcrest.com we have the experience of years of research into coats of arms, family crests and battleshields. We are available to answer your questions about your shield and what it means. Call us at Toll-Free 866-289-2798 or e-mail shieldandcrest@gmail.com  We hand paint the finest quality 440 grade steel Battle Shields just as they were hand-painted in the days of King Malcolm III of Scotland.