Heraldry in all its forms has been one of Brian Abel Ragen’s passions since he first ran across of copy of Iain Moncreiffe’s Simple Heraldry in a junior high school library. The beauty, order, and romance of heraldry offered a liberation from a setting that provided none of them. As the years went by, he became a scholar of the subject, while never ceasing to be an enthusiast. He has assisted several other scholars as they tried to make sense of the use of heraldry by various medieval and renaissance authors.

Ragen’s own major contribution to the scholarly study of heraldry is an article that is also a critique of modern literary theory. While some say its title joins the two most soporific subjects known to humankind, many readers have admired it. He has also spoken on the subject to audiences of semioticians.

“Semiotics and Heraldry”

As this web site perhaps shows, Ragen has been very interested in how new media incorporate older art forms, including heraldry. He has published an essay that discusses a dubious use of heraldry in an already obsolescent new medium, the CD-ROM.

“Do Facts Matter on a CD-ROM?”

While he has no artistic talent or training, Ragen is a competent heraldic designer. One of his designs won the American Herladry Society’s award for the best American heraldic design of 2009.

Ragen has never seen any great division between his scholarly and personal interests and sought to become armigerous himself after examining heraldry from the perspective of literary theory. The arms he was granted through the College of Arms are described in this page.

Recommended Books on Heraldry:

  • Simple Heraldry
  • The Oxford Guide to Heraldry
  • Scotland's Heraldic Heritage : The Lion Rejoicing
  • A Canadian Heraldic Primer
  • Heraldry in the Catholic Church: Its Origin, Customs, and Laws
  • Heraldic Alphabet
  • Dictionary of Heraldry
  • Boutell's Heraldry