House of Gordon

Clan Insignia

Gordon Arms - Bydand and Animo non asutia

Clan Motto: Bydand (steadfast, abiding)
Possible origin is the term Byde and Fecht, meaning to stand and fight. The Fecht was dropped because it was understood that if one was going to stand – one would fight!

Old Motto: Animo Non Astutia (By Courage Not Craft)

War Cry: “An Gordonach, An Gordonach” or “A Gordon, A Gordon”

Clan Saying: “Do Well and let them say … A Gordon! A Gordon!”

Nickname given the clan: “The Gey Gordons” (gey means overwhelming)

The Chief’s Own Tune: Cock o’ the North

The Clan March: Gordon’s March

The Clan Dance: Marquis of Huntly’s Highland Fling

Piobaireachd: Failte, and Spaidsearachd nan Gordonach (The Gordon Salute)

rock ivy

Plant: Rock Ivy

Rock Ivy is a most appropriate plant badge for the Gordons as it is well know for its ability to overwhelm anything and everything around it. It was valued anciently for its tenacity, It was a symbol of strength and determination due to its virtual indestructibility being able to recoup from even the worst damage and quickly regrow from just a small root piece.

Click here for more information about this incredible plant.

Personal Arms of the Marquis of Huntly

Personal Arms of the Gordon Chief

Since this is the personal arms of the chief, they are NOT for use by the Clansmen and women. Scottish heraldry permits the use of the Clan Chief’s crest belted to differentiate it as a clansman’s insignia, and all who are eligible to become members of the House of Gordon are allowed the use of the Clansman’s Badge.

Quarterly (means shield divided into four sections)

upper left quadrant of Gordon Arms

1st Azure (Upper left quadrant colored blue background)
three boars’ heads coupled Or (severed in a straight line and colored gold), Proper langued Gules (in natural color, tongue out colored red) (Gordon)

upper right quadrant of Gordon Arms

2nd, Or (Upper right quadrant colored gold)
three lions heads erased Gules langued Azure (3 lions heads torn jagged edge colored red with blue tongues) (for Lordship of Badenoch)

lower left quadrant of Gordon Arms

3rd, Or (Lower left quadrant colored gold)
three crescents within a Royal Tressure, flory counter flory, Gules (three red crescents within a double border ornamented with fleur-de-lis on both sides, the flowers being reversed alternatively) (for Seton)

lower right quadrant of Gordon Arms

4th, Azure (Lower right quadrant colored blue)
three fraises Argent (three strawberry flowers colored silver) (for Fraser, acquisition of the Aboyne lands)

Clan Gordon Chiefs Crest

CREST: Issuant from a ducal coronet or a stag’s head and neck affrontee proper attired with ten tynes of the first,  all encircled within a chaplet of rock ivy proper.
(Note the crest on the Clan Standard below shows issuent from a crest coronet and ensigned with the coronet of a marquis)

MOTTO: Bydand

On a compartment (mound upon which the supporters stand) embellished with rock ivy, two deerhounds argent (silver) collared gules, charged three buckels (red collar with three buckles) are the usual supporters for the Huntly arms, as seen in the carvings at Huntly Castle. (See above for a representation of the arms depicting the supporters.)


The Gordon Clansman Badge

Clan Gordon Crest

Also known as a cap badge.

There is no description for the color of the belt and therefore it may be depicted proper, or, argent, or in any of the prominent colors of the clan. In the case of the Gordons it is often often blue, gold (or pale yellow) and sometimes green. Below are alternate depictions of the Clansman’s Badge. Traditionally a piece of the plant badge (Rock Ivy for the Gordons) would be worn on the hat to identify a clansman. Those men with more wealth would wear a cap badge mounted over a piece of tartan to identify their clan affiliation.

Alternate Crest Depictions
The Gordon Clansman’s Badge in three differing  depictions.


The Standard of the Gordon Clan

Clan Gordon Standard

Consists of a pennant shaped flag. On the hoist is the St. Andrew’s Cross. The fly is divided horizontally in azure and or (blue and gold). Upon the fly immediately following the hoist is the Crest of the Marquis of Huntly and then two oblique red sashes emblazoned or the Clan War Cry  ‘AnGordonach’ and finally the Clan Motto ‘Bydand’. Interspersed are five leaves of rock ivy Proper 1, 2 and 2 respectively. The Standard was used as a rallying point for the Clan in battle and contained the Clan Insignia which were readily recognizable to the clansmen. All Scottish Standards contain the St. Andrew’s Cross on the hoist.