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My own Coat of Arms, the Origin of the Stars & Stripes, and Hartburn, DC
|| 6/2/2009 || 1:57 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

Original image created in Chicago, 1894.
From the Library of Congress’ An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera.

Some time in the future I’d like to read more deeply into heraldry and come up with my own Coat of Arms. Today there is so much talk about name branding that I think it would be an interesting juxtaposition where my Coat of Arms could visually explain some subtle details about me. My motto would either be Socio Ditata Labore or Gloria Immortalis Labore Parta, but how would I go about designing the shield? That is where I am currently stuck at, but I imagine that if I were to dig deeper into the arcane traditions of heraldry, I would come up with something fitting.

About two months ago I was rummaging through the Library of Congress’ An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera and came across the image above. I knew that the DC flag was based off of George Washington’s family crest, but I didn’t know that it had been changed over the centuries prior to his family’s arrival in America. Moreover, I didn’t know that the city I currently live in, Washington, DC, might have been called something completely different…

From a New York Times’ Letter to the Editor published on April 8th, 1984:

Eberhartpence, Eberhart, Hartpence, Hart – what’s in a name? Indeed, had it not been for a change of name back in the 12th century, our nation’s capital might be Hartburn, D.C.

You see, when George Washington’s British ancestor William de Hartburn moved from Hartburn to Wessington in 1130, he changed his name to William de Wessington, which later became de Washington. The ”de” was dropped when the family arrived on these colonial shores around 1659.

Had William retained his original name, the father of our country would have been one ”George Hartburn.”

Imagine that– a gastrointestinal themed capital city. The people’s pyrosis!

I bet the George Hartburn University would have an even better medical school too! It makes me wonder if there would even be a Hart Senate office building, lest someone get the wild notion of burning it down. Or what about the lexical ramifications of when the British torched Washington in the War of 1812? Would this alternate history be called The Burning of Hartburn? I can only laugh and, of course, take some antacids.


A very long time ago, a couple weeks after the reelection of George W. Bush in November of 2004, I wrote that my most recent map looked similar to the gas mask I had purchased days prior:

Yet living in DC with 4 more years of Bush, I am expecting some acid reflux in the belly of the beast…

While there was only one case of acid reflux to hit Washington, DC during the subsequent 4 years, and a mild case at that, I can laugh again at this alternative history double entendre. Acid reflux in the belly of the beast? Only if George Washington’s ancestor didn’t change his name.



December 21st, 2012, the 13th Baktun, and the flag of the District of Columbia
|| 2/20/2009 || 7:25 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Mesoamerican Numerals:

The Flag of the District of Columbia:

A baktun is 20 katun cycles of the ancient Maya Long Count Calendar. It contains 144,000 days or 400 tuns or nearly 400 tropical years. The Classic period of Maya civilization occurred during the 8th and 9th baktuns of the current calendrical cycle. The current (13th) baktun will end, or be completed, on 13.0.0.0.0 (December 21, 2012 using the GMT correlation).

It just so happens that the flag of Washington, DC, which was created in 1921 by Charles A. R. Dunn (1894 – 1978) and is based on George Washington’s coat of arms, looks quite a bit like the number 13 in Mesoamerican numerals.

I will not make any further conclusions at the moment, but I think that this is quite an interesting visual coincidence.
What do you think?


Related Flag Entries:

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Featured on-line with the Maps exhibition at the Walters Museum
|| 2/27/2008 || 7:17 am || Comments Off on Featured on-line with the Maps exhibition at the Walters Museum || ||

Screen grab showing a small detail of a Concentric Quilt

Starting in mid-November I’ve been volunteering my time with the Walters Museum‘s upcoming exhibition. They have a small technology center (4 iMacs) in their cafeteria which I was given the opportunity to review. I look forward to going to the opening later this month!!

The Walters Museum has also included a layer for Google Earth that I produced for the exhibit. You can download the layer here or here.



Mount Vernon Quilt #6
|| 11/7/2007 || 11:15 am || Comments Off on Mount Vernon Quilt #6 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Mount Vernon Quilt #6

Using this portion of Mount Vernon Quilt #5, I created a derivative tessellation to create this fractal map.

This series of maps is one of my more unique endeavors. From #2 onwards, each was a created from a tessellated portion from the previous map. This recursive tessellation process created a more crystalline map with more lines of symmetry. The projection process was octagon, diamond, dodecagon, hexagon, octagon, and finally, a diamond.

The most important of all the maps was actually the first. From this map I was able to obtain my intended focal point of the mapping process, the Washington Monument of Baltimore. By tessellating that portion, I began the process of narrowing the scope of each subsequent tessellation to the area around the monument. What became clearly evident is the blue rooftop of the Peabody Institute and the unique geometry of the park. The hardest step in the tessellation process became finding the spot on the map that had the most monuments in it. The next time I do a series like this I am going have a set spot on the map that I will tessellate, as opposed to the current method which is a bit more random.

View the Google Map of the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland

: detail :

View the rest of the details:

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Mount Vernon Quilt #5
|| 11/4/2007 || 11:47 am || Comments Off on Mount Vernon Quilt #5 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Mount Vernon Quilt #5

Using this portion of Mount Vernon Quilt #4, I created a derivative tessellation to create this fractal map.

Up next will be the final map of the Mount Vernon series.

View the Google Map of the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland

View Details:

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Mount Vernon Quilt #4
|| 10/31/2007 || 12:15 pm || Comments Off on Mount Vernon Quilt #4 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Mount Vernon Quilt #3

Using this portion of Mount Vernon Quilt #3, I created a derivative tessellation to create this fractal map.

Up next I have another map of Mount Vernon based off of a fourth dervative tessellation created from this map. I believe that the next map will be the most derivatives I’ve created from one source map!

View the Google Map of the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland

View Details:

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Mount Vernon Quilt #3
|| 10/30/2007 || 2:15 pm || Comments Off on Mount Vernon Quilt #3 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Mount Vernon Quilt #3

Using this portion of Mount Vernon Quilt #2, I created a derivative tessellation to create this fractal map. Up next I have another map of Mount Vernon based off of a third dervative tessellation created from this map. The aim is to isolate the area around Baltimore’s Washington Monument.

Unlike previous fractal maps, I have made a slight correction to the source imagery. Earlier this year I discovered how my quilt projection template slightly over-projects the imagery. To combat this, I tried something new with this map. Prior to tessellation, I reduced the source imagery about 10 pixels (or about .003%). I am not sure how much it helped, since I am not exactly sure how much I have over-projected the imagery, but I think I’ll do this from now on.

View the Google Map of the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland

View Details:

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Mount Vernon Quilt #2
|| 10/29/2007 || 10:39 am || Comments Off on Mount Vernon Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Using this portion of Mount Vernon Quilt, I created a derivative tessellation to create this fractal map. Up next I have another map of Mount Vernon based off of a second dervative tessellation created from this map.

View the Google Map of the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland

View Details:

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Mount Vernon Quilt
|| 10/28/2007 || 6:15 pm || Comments Off on Mount Vernon Quilt || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

Lately I’ve been going to Baltimore to work on some tasks and have spent a fair amount of time traversing the streets of old downtown Baltimore. I find the city to have quite a unique character. I enjoy these getaways from DC very much and it’s cheap- only $14 roundtrip on the MARC trains. Cab rides within DC cost more than that!

Mount Vernon is a historic neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland. Included in this area (and above map) is my favorite monument in Baltimore: the Washington Monument. I prepared a derivative tessellation to show more imagery of the monument in the next map. It should look interesting.

View the Google Map of the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland

View Details:

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GWU Quilt #4
|| 11/21/2005 || 11:26 pm || Comments Off on GWU Quilt #4 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :

4 different maps in this series, and I must say I’m very happy with it.

View Details:

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The Daily Render By
A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future.

©2004-2019 Nikolas R. Schiller - Colonist of the District of Columbia - Privacy Policy - Fair Use - RSS - Contact




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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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::THE QUILT PROJECTION::

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  • thank you,
    come again!