As with all Scottish clans the crest is the property of the Chief and may be borne by him alone, although in days gone by, the Chief's fighting men wore his crest on a leather armlet to identify their allegiance. This device gave rise to the modern clansman's badge - the crest worn surrounded by a belt signifying a clansman in servitude to the chief.
All clan members may wear the chief's crest encircled by a strap and buckle inscribed with their chief's motto or slogan. The strap and buckle symbolises the membership to the clan and allegiance to the clan chief. Only the chief, chieftains, and armigerous members of the clan may wear the chief's crest without the strap and buckle surrounding it.
A person does not need to be a member of a clan society to be able to wear a crest badge. Any clan member has a right to it, not just clan societies and clan society members. According to the Court of the Lord Lyon, clan membership goes with the surname. Although, today many people who do not bear a clan surname do wear crest badges of their mother's clan, and anyone who offers their allegiance to a clan chief is a member of a clan (unless the chief decides to refuse that person's allegiance).
About the Crest
The Clan Arthur crest is formed from: "Two laurel branches in orle proper", more commonly known as a laurel wreath. In heraldic terms, the enclosure of the branches is recognised as protective.
The laurel wreath can immediately be associated with the Roman Caesars (as is "King" Arthur) and is easily recognisable as an empirical emblem. It is the symbol of the victor (the trait for which Arthur is acknowledged) and was presented to the Olympians of ancient Greece. Until recently the laurel wreath was still presented to the victor in Formula One motor racing on the podium at the Grand Prix. A wreath bearing purple fruits (as portrayed on the Clan Arthur badge) is representative of the highest honour and is from where the expression of "Resting on your laurels" is derived.
Laurel is more commonly known as the Bay Tree (Laurus Nobilis) from which the bay leaf is obtained. The ancient priestesses of Delphi burnt bay leaves to induce prophetic trance, nowadays it is more frequently used as an ingredient of traditional Indian cuisine. As an evergreen tree ruled by the Sun and Jupiter the Bay Laurel carries the light of summer into darkest winter.
About the Motto
The Clan Motto "Fide et Opera" ("By Faith and Work") originates from The New Testament of The Holy Bible - James, Chapter 2, Verses 14 to 28.
Within these three words lies the power of the clan. The combination of faith and work create an unstoppable force. It has been used throughout history by MacArthurs, and has described us throughout time. It has helped found corporations, industries and countries. It has made Presidents, and has even launched MacArthurs into space. If you ever see a successful MacArthur, analyze them and you will see our motto at work.
It should be noted that you will sometimes find MacArthur clan crest jewelry (hat badges, kilt pins, cufflinks, lapel pins, etc.) with the war cry "Eisd O' Eisd" written on the belt instead of the motto. This is incorrect. As the war cry should only be said by the Clan Chief, it should not be on a clansperson's crest. Only crests with the motto: "Fide Et Opera" are considered authentic and correct.