Society Registers New Coat-of-arms

Logo Società (2) June 2013The Society has recently updated and registered a new coat-of-arms. Our coat-of-arms features the symbol of the roman eagle in the shield set on top an azure blue background, which is our society colour as well as the official colour of Italy. The lower left tri-colour ribbon represents the flag of Italy, as the lower right ribbon of red and white represents the flag of Canada. The lions on either side of the shield are supporters that serve an ornamental function.

Italian Coat-of-Arms for SELLAN Surname Found

Italian Coat-of-arms for SELLAN surname found

Lo stemma della famiglia Sellan

Through the diligent research work of Flavio Andreatta, President of the Italian Genealogy and Heraldry Society of Canada, the original authentic Italian coat-of-arms for the SELLAN surname has been found. The “blazon” or description of the coat-of-arms, states that the shield is quartered, with three horizontal black bars with gold in the first and fourth quarters and a pattern of black rhomboids or diamonds with gold in the second and third quarters. In the crest above the shield, there is an armoured arm holding an unsheathed sword. The coat-of-arms is framed by a helm (or helmet) and mantling. While the helm and mantling are ornamental, they are specific to this coat-of-arms. There are many rules regarding the design of coat-of-arms. The interpretation and reproduction of the blazon of the Sellan coat-of-arms was done by a qualified heraldic artist in Italy.

Given the fairly simple design of the coat-of-arms, it is estimated that it is certainly an early version and is also the original version. It is estimated to date back to the 1300s . In addition to the coat-of-arms, it has been found that the Sellan surname has a family motto or saying, “Bellando debellas” (Latin), or “We will vanquish our enemies” (English). The origin of the saying dates back to the XIV century (1300s).

Patterns, colours and symbols used in coats-of-arms usually do have a specific meaning. But these meanings are not standardized. They are specific to the individual coat-of-arms at the time it was created. It is also possible that patterns or colors may have been chosen for aesthetic reasons. Records of the original meaning of a color or pattern in a given coat-of-arms may no longer exist. Most Italian families have a historical coat-of-arms, but not all of them. A coat-of-arms is a way of identifying a specific person. It is a type of property protected by law. No person can claim or use your coat-of-arms as theirs if it is registered to you. Traditionally, an Italian coat-of-arms is first registered to a specific person, then handed down to descendants in the family.

A symbol of a horse saddle has been shown on the Internet and claimed to be the Sellan coat-of-arms. This certainly is NOT the Sellan coat-of-arms. It is not even a coat-of-arms at all, as it does not conform to any rule of design for coats-of-arms. The Internet is not a reliable source of information on Italian heraldry. Only the Italian Genealogy and Heraldry Society of Canada and its select partner organizations in Italy should be considered a reliable source of information on Italian heraldry. Our Society’s research library can identify whether a coat-of-arms exists for any given Italian surname.

Additional information has been found through private sources in Italy on the origin of the Sellan surname. The name SELLAN is a Trevisan-Friulian surname. Most Sellan families trace their family origins to the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in Northeastern Italy, especially around the city of Pordenone in the province of Pordenone. Our research has shown records indicating that the Sellan surname may have originated as SELLANO from the Piemonte region in Northwestern Italy. G.B. Crollalanza noted the noble ancestry of the Sellan/Sellano surname in his book, “Dizionario Storico-Blasonico” (1886), about the blazons of Italian nobles.

Ownership of the Sellan coat-of-arms shown here is currently registered through the Italian Genealogy and Heraldry Society of Canada to Mr. Timothy Sellan of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. However, any person with the surname Sellan whose ancestors are from Italy, can claim this as their family’s ancestral coat-of-arms. Permission is granted by Timothy Sellan to any Sellan in the world of Italian ancestry to display the Sellan coat-of-arms for personal use. If a Sellan wishes to use this Sellan coat-of-arms for commercial purposes, permission is granted only if:

i) It is clearly noted that the Sellan coat-of-arms is the property of and registered to “Timothy Sellan – Italian Genealogy and Heraldry Society of Canada”.

ii) The user does not claim the Sellan coat-of-arms as their own property.

iii) A charitable donation is made to the Italian Genealogy and Heraldry Society of Canada.

For more information on researching your family’s Italian coat-of-arms or family history, please feel free to contact the President, Tim Sellan at Our Society has the largest library on Italian genealogy and heraldry in the world outside of Italy. Our research is done competently, honestly, and at a fair cost. This information about the Sellan coat-of-arms may be shared in other publications, but please be sure to quote the Italian Genealogy and Heraldry Society of Canada as the source.


Timothy Sellan
Italian Genealogy and Heraldry Society of Canada