The Catholic University of America's Coat of Arms
The coat of arms of The Catholic University of America is established with the following blazon: quarterly azure and silver, a cross quarterly silver and gules (heraldic language for any bright, clear red) over all an open book, its edges gold, its pages inscribed “Deus Lux Mea Est” and in the first canton, a silver crescent.
The coloring, charges, and sign of the coat of arms have a direct relation to the arms of the United States of America. This was done by the designer, Pierre de Chaignon la Rose, to declare the University’s patriotism and national scope. The cross is composed of red and white stripes and is placed on a field quartered of blue and white, comprising our three national colors and no others. Added to this consideration, the crescent is the heraldic symbol of the Immaculate Conception, constituted by ecclesiastical authority as the Patroness of the United States of America.
The most salient charge of the shield is a cross, clearly indicative of the Catholic faith. The stripes of red are emblematic of the Precious Blood of Christ, while the white stripes symbolize the innocence of Christ. The quartered field of blue and white uses the heraldic colors of Our Lady, the Mother of God.
The open book represents the University as an institution of learning. The motto on the pages of the book, “Deus Lux Mea Est” (God is my light), points to the source of all truth and enlightenment.
This description constitutes the complete CUA coat of arms. It may be considered the common property of all Catholic University graduates and organizations. The shape of the arms may not be varied in any manner, but may be surrounded by various decorations. Branches of laurel, oak, or academic palms are appropriate. The coat of arms may not be combined in any fashion with any other arms and should never be combined with athletic emblems.