case western reserve university



Heraldic Banners

Definition of "heraldic banners": armorial ensigns or similar insignia.

As part of the 1976 sesquicentiennial celebration of the founding of Western Reserve College in 1826, Case Western Reserve University worked with herald Anthony W. C. Phelps to create heraldic banners for schools from its past.

The colors and symbols traditionally used by heralds at England's College of Arms were utilized to create heraldic banners appropriate to 15 schools from CWRU's history. Below are explanations of the symbolism of each banner.

There has been 1 additional banner and 1 revised banner since 1976.

heraldic banner
Case Institute of Technology

Adapted from the seal of Case School of Applied Science and Case Institute of Technology, which included a globe.

heraldic banner

Western Reserve University

Adapted from the seal of WRU, which included a rising sun.

heraldic banner
Western Reserve College

Based on the seal of WRC. The book signifies knowledge, while the Hebrew "aleph" and the Greek "omega" stand for learning, as well as for the beginning and the end.

heraldic banner
School of Medicine

Features the caduceus, a traditional symbol of the medical profession. This banner was replaced on 5/17/2015.

Revised School of Medicine heraldic banner
School of Medicine

The School of Medicine revised its heraldic banner design. The new banner was first used at the 5/17/2015 Commencement Convocation.

heraldic banner
Adelbert College

A stylized version of the rising sun, adapted from the WRU seal.

heraldic banner
Flora Stone Mather College

A stylized version of the Mary Chisholm Painter Arch, built in 1904 and located at the Euclid Avenue entrance to the Mather campus, which has traditionally been the symbol of Mather College.

heraldic banner
Franklin Thomas Backus School of Law

The Scales of Justice are balanced on the curtana, which is the sword of mercy and, therefore, is broken.

heraldic banner
School of Dental Medicine

Features a Greek Delta for dentistry interwoven with a circle, which signifies unity, and surrounds a one-serpent caduceus.

heraldic banner
School of Library Science

The book, which symbolizes the transmission of knowledge, is placed on a disk that signifies the unity of knowledge.

heraldic banner
Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

The black and white background signifies the change from darkness to light and from ignorance to knowledge. The wavy star represents man or life, while the green and gold represent youth and old age, country and town, etc.

heraldic banner
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing

The cross within the circle is a stylized version of the pin of the School.

heraldic banner
Cleveland College

The quartered banner of ermine and sable is derived from the coat of arms traditionally ascribed to Moses Cleaveland. The gold lamp signifies learning and adult education.

heraldic banner
School of Graduate Studies

The two books symbolize the traditional division of learning into arts and sciences.

heraldic banner
Weatherhead School of Management

The small circles represent a group of people in conference, while the counterchange of colors signifies the transfer of ideas.

School of Engineering

Based on the Case coat of arms, the silver gear represents applied science or technology. The gold star signifies pure science.

College of Arts and Sciences heraldic banner
College of Arts and Sciences

This heraldic banner appeared in 1999 for the inauguration of David Auston as CWRU president. The reversed background color symbolizes the arts and sciences in the field of education. The sun represents a source of energy for the college.

Information was compiled by staff of the Case Western Reserve University Archives, November 2004. Last revised April, 2018.


1WI 1:1 Memorandum, Ruth Helmuth to ?, 3/24/1975
1WI 1:1 Commemorative Publication, Case Western Reserve University Sesquicentennial, [1975-1976]
1WI 1:1 Program, Case Western Reserve University, Convocation for the Inauguration of David Henry Auston as President of Case Western Reserve University, 10/29/1999
1WI 1:1 Email, Eric L. Dicken to Jill M. Tatem, 7/6/2015
A18-017 #1 CWRU Flags, Records of Richard E. Baznik, Vice President for Public Affairs