Flynn Coat of Arms

“Flynn Coat of Arms”
Pen and Ink on Illustration Board
16″ x 20″ (matted)

Another in my series of custom Coat of Arms drawings, this one was a little closer to home. When I originally thought of this idea, my intention was to do my own name and see how my family coat of arms would look if I was the one that drew it. With all the orders I received after my first drawing, I didn’t have a chance to work on my own until some time after. I did this drawing for my father Michael Colin Flynn and presented it to him for his 65th birthday. Both his father and grandfather were pipe-fitters in Chicago for most of their lives and the complex program along the sides and ultimately forming the skyline up top are an homage to that history. With the pipe workings of the skyline one can find a ‘SOX’ as a tribute to our White Sox, as we are South Side Irish. The three large circular yellow forms in the upper portion of the composition are represented as spillways pouring into the main body of the work. Each sibling’s initials along with their children can be found in this portion as well. In the original coat of arms these are “bezants”; Byzantine coins that often represent generosity in banners and family arms. Floating on the waters of Lake Michigan there is a long grey boat, the U.S.S Prometheus, my grandfather’s ship in WWII. A repair vessel where my grandfather Joseph Flynn reached the rank of Petty Officer First Class. This insignia is on the bottom left of the pipes. My father’s Spec-4 insignia from his time in the military police is reflected on the other side. The bottom of the composition is anchored by the Dempsey Coat of Arms, the maiden name of my grandmother and is flanked by both the Chicago Flag and the Irish Flag. Finally, the lowest portion of the piece shows crossed tools on each side. The left, monkey wrenches, a common tool of his trade. Something he has repaired Cabrini Green plumbing with, broken with his bare hands, and thrown at Japanese dive bombers. On the other side shows crossed gavels, representing my fathers 30 years of practicing law, mostly in organized crime and career criminal prosecution.

• January 16, 2013

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