Each bishop has his own coat of arms that bears his episcopal motto — usually a quote from Scripture — and symbols that have some personal significance to the man.
The coat of arms is used on documents and letterhead and other items pertaining to that bishop.
When Bishop David Talley was named auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, he commisioned the creation of a coat of arms, which at that time, was symbolic of his own family’s coat of arms integrated with important events in his lifetime in Georgia (mostly Atlanta).
As a coadjutor bishop, which means he will automatically become the sole bishop after Bishop Herzog retires, Bishop Talley had his coat of arms “impaled” with symbols from the Diocese of Alexandria. (“Impaled” means to integrate or combine.)
The results is the coat of arms at right. It was designed y Deacon Paul Sullivan of Saunderstwon, Rhode Island.
The Coat of Arms
A bishop’s coat of arms (also called an “episcopal heraldic achievement”) is composed of a shield, the central and most important part of the design; a scroll with a motto; and the external ornamentation.
The external ornaments start at the top with a green pontifical hat, called a “gallero,” with its six tassels, in three rows, on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop by instruction of the Holy See of March 31, 1969.
Under the green gallero is a gold processional cross, that is placed in back of and above the shield.
The left side of the shield displays the arms of the Diocese of Alexandria; the right side displays the personal arms of Bishop Talley.
• The arms of the Diocese of Alexandria are based on the traditional arms of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, which were a red field bearing four silver bells.
• The gold and black checked crescent is derived from the Azpilcueta arms inherited by St. Francis Xavier, patron of the Cathedral church of the diocese. The cross dividing the shield is one of the many crosses in heraldry used to represent the Cross of Christ.
• On the right side, the special twelve-pointed silver (white) star known as the “Stellar Maris,” or “Star of the Sea,” a classic symbol honoring Our Blessed Mother, to whom His Excellency has such deep and profound devotion.
• The Stella Maris is placed between two “Cherokee Roses,” silver (white) petals and gold (yellow) barbs and seed, that are the state flower of Georgia and are displayed in the arms of the Diocese of Savannah, where Bishop Talley was born, in Columbus, and in the arms of the Archdiocese of Atlanta where His Excellency served as auxiliary bishop.
• The chevron, from the Prescott family arms is composed of silver (white) and blue wavy bars, representing water and it signifies the Chattahoochee and the Savannah Rivers that run throughout the territories of the two Georgia dioceses.
• In the base of the design, is the bark of St. Peter, gold (yellow) with a silver (white) sail charged with the IHS, the monogram of the Holy Name, in red. The bark is the central feature of the logotype of the “Year of Faith” as designated by Pope Benedict XVI; the year of the New Evangelization now being carried forward by a new Holy Father, Pope Francis.
For his motto, His Excellency Bishop Talley has selected the Latin phrase “DABO VOBIS COR NOVUM.” The phrase, taken from the Book of Ezekiel (Ez. 36:26) expresses His Excellency’s faith that Jesus Christ instructs us that He “Will Give You a New Heart.”