USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44)
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Coat of Arms



Quarterly Azure and Argent, a cross Gules, all within a bordure quartered Argent and Azure charged with nine mullets counterchanged.


On a wreath, Argent and Azure, a sea lion erect Azure langued Gules charged on the neck with a torteau fimbriated Or and grasping in its paws an open parchment scroll Proper, issuing from an embattled tower of the like charged with a fleur-de-lis Gules and in front of a grassy knoll also Proper.


A scroll Azure doubled and inscribed "DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION" in Gold.


The coat of arms emblazoned upon a White oval enclosed by a Blue collar edged on the outside with Gold rope and inscribed with the words "USS GUNSTON HALL" above and "LSD 44" below in Gold letters.



The colors of the shield are taken from the Coat of Arms of George Mason, Revolutionary owner of Gunston Hall. The Red Cross, from the flag of England, reflects his country of origin and source of the name Gunston. The border of nine stars represents the nine battle stars earned for World War ll and the nine battle stars earned in the Korean War. The Red Cross also refers to Operation "Crossroads", the 1946 series of atomic bomb tests in which USS GUNSTON HALL participated at Bikini Atoll. White, symbolizing high ideas and virtue, exemplifies the part the Gunston Hall played in the U.S. Navy's humanitarian efforts in 1955 to evacuate almost 800,000 refugees from North to South Vietnam, Operation "Passage to Freedom".


The sea lion, taken from the device of the first USS GUNSTON HALL, represents her and recalls her long and distinguished service. The torteau refers to the World War ll Pacific actions against Japan and the threat of Kamikaze attacks. The motto "DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION" is referred to by the parchment in the sea lion's grasp, recalling also the Bill of Rights which was based on Virginia's Declaration of Rights, authored by George Mason.The tower refers to Gunston Hall estate and the security provided by the modern Dock Landing Ship. The red fleur-de-lis is adapted from George Mason's Coat of Arms. The grassy knoll stands for the land of Virginia and is canting reference to the functions of the Gunston Hall, i.e., it is an all allusion to the "landing" ship.

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