United States Heraldic Registry
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|Services||Heraldry registration, artwork, consultation|
Founded in 2005, the United States Heraldic Registry (USHR) is a private, American enterprise that offers free registration of contemporary and historical heraldry.
By early 2010, the USHR had compiled information for over 900 coats of arms. The Registry resumed operations on June 29, 2013 after more than a year's hiatus.
The USHR is one of several private heraldry registration services.
Registration with the USHR is open to all American and foreign persons and entities. Registrants receive a unique registration number and information about the coat of arms is placed in an online database. Coats of arms are stored as a written description called a "blazon" and, optionally, with a graphic, a design rationale, and history of the arms.
Qualifying coats of arms
As a condition for registering a personal coat of arms with the USHR, the registrant must either (a) inherit a coat of arms from a documented, usually patrilineal ancestor who actually bore that coat of arms or (b) design (or have been granted) an original coat of arms that does not duplicate an existing design. The USHR also registers personal arms "in memoriam" for near ancestors.
The USHR does not register "surname" family coats of arms sold by "bucket shops."
Registration vs. grant
Registration is not the same as a grant of arms. Grants are available only from government agencies in a few countries that regulate heraldry, such as Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Canada. Grants offer limited legal protection against theft of design within the granting country's borders. While private registration offers no legal protection, it provides some benefits. Registration provides a date-certain for the use of the arms, which can settle disputes if someone later claims the same design, and online rolls can prevent unintentional duplication.
Registry's coat of arms
The USHR's coat of arms is blazoned, Or on a fess Gules between three mullets Azure an open book Argent.