USCGC Margaret Norvell (WPC 1105)
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Coat of Arms


Description/Blazon

SHIELD

Sable, issuant from a point in base Azure, a representation of the Lake Pontchartrain Lighthouse emitting three stylized rays, two horizontally in the form of a Maltese cross and one to chief couped Vert fimbriated Or alternating with four fleurs de lis of the like, all within a bordure Or.


CREST

On a wreath Or and Sable, in front of a ship's wheel stylized stormy waves of the sea Proper, a pair of oars in saltire, blades down, centered over them a hurricane lamp enflamed, all Proper.


MOTTO

A scroll folded ends back on itself Sable, doubled Or, inscribed "TRUE STEADY UNFAILING" Or.


SEAL

The coat of arms as blazoned in full color on a white circular field within a dark blue designation band, edged gold roped border and bearing the name "USCGC MARGARET NORVELL" at top and "WPC 1105" at base.

Symbolism

SHIELD

Black and gold represent the night sky over Lake Pontchartrain and the light emitting from its lighthouse. They are, also, prominent colors throughout New Orleans. The shape of the shield is reminiscent of the shield from the Lighthouse Service in which Margaret Norvell performed 41 years of service. The Lake Pontchartrain Lighthouse rendition is derived from source photos taken in the 1920's era. The rays emitting from the lighthouse are stylized and made to represent the Order of the Holy Spirit, a prestigious chivalric order under the French Monarchy that was awarded to Louis Phelypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain, the namesake of Lake Pontchartrain. Phelypeaux was the French Minister of State when French explorers discovered Lake Pontchartrain in 1699.


MOTTO

The motto, ''TRUE STEADY UNFAILING,'' is taken from a quote by Mrs. Norvell in an 1897 article in the Woman's Way section of the New Orleans Daily Picayune. Discussing lighthouse keeping as a female occupation, she said: ''After all, it seems a natural and womanly thing, doesn't it, to keep a bright light burning to guide someone home. That's what we are all doing, but mine is to shine far out at sea and be so true, steady and unfailing that sailors may dare to steer by it.''


CREST

The stormy seas are superimposed by a pair of oars that represent the heroic event in 1926 when Margaret Norvell rowed out to a Navy plane that had gone down in Lake Pontchartrain and rescued the pilot. The ship's wheel and 1920's hurricane-style lamp represent her commitment and dedication to keeping the light beaming for safe navigation in all weather conditions for more than 41 years.





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