Carteret County Coat of Arms

The Original Carteret County Coat of Arms
Image from Porchscapes, The Colors of Beaufort, NC
  • The silver (Argent) diamonds (Lozengy) on the shield are representative of the Carteret Family, as the original Carteret Coat of Arms consisted of four silver diamonds on a red (Gules) field. 
  • The black (Sable) swords (Tridents) across (Saltire) the shield are three-pronged spears representative of Neptune. 
  • The monster (Yale) on the top has curved horns with a body like an antelope with a lion’s tail. 
  • The scallop (Escallop Or) is an ancient emblem of heraldry worn by Crusaders of old as a badge of honor. 
  • The black whale supporters are additives, perhaps due to much of Carteret County being on the ocean. The "supporters" come from the practice of Knight’s aides dressing in various animal costumes to attract challenges at tournaments.
NOTE: The above terms in italics are French because the Angevin kings ruled England as heraldry became established.

In 1976, Miss Emily Loftin and Mrs. Thelma Simpson prevailed upon the Carteret County Commissioners to initiate a request that the College of Arms, London, England, “derive such Armorial Ensigns as may be deemed suitable”. The request was officially made by John Kenneth Newsome, Chairman of the Carteret County Board of Commissions.

The Coat of Arms was unveiled in 1977 at the Driftwood Restaurant in Cedar Island. The original hangs in the Carteret County Board of Commissioners Room in the Courthouse in Beaufort, North Carolina.
A smaller copy, in oil, hangs in the Carteret County Museum of History in Morehead City, North Carolina.

The above was researched and compiled by the late Charles O. Pitts Jr.