JE Symbolism

Badge and Crest

The badge worn upon the College blazers is a red apple surrounded by a green serpent. It recalls the Reverend Jonathan Edwards’ preoccupation with the doctrine of original sin. It is borne aloud and not upon a shield. It was devised by the first Master and Fellows, and designed by H. Dillington Palmer B.A. 1924. It forms the silver head of the ebony mace of the College, hanging in the Master’s Office as the symbol of authority.When a more formal device is desired for use on a decorative shield, banner, a letterhead, or a title page, the coat of arms is preferred.

The coat of arms described in heraldic terms is: ermine, a lion rampant vert (green). This coat is a simplified form of the arms used by the Revered Jonathan Edwards himself. He had it engraved upon the most valuable piece of silver in his possession – a tankard purchased by him with money present by his congregation in Stockbridge. The tankard, now in the New Haven Historical Society, was made about 1757 by Zachariah Brigden, silversmith, of Boston, who had learned his art as apprentice to Jonathan’s kinsman, Thomas Edwards, The arms which it beards do not indicate the color of the lion. In the arms of the College the lion is green, the color adopted by the College some years ago. – c. 1938

The green rearing lion symbolizes courage and purity of heart. Its crimson tongue and nails exhibit willingness to pursue its goals with passion both of speech and strength. The veil of white that surrounds the lion symbolizes the Grace of God, and the other eleven residential colleges are represented by the eleven black daggers (a later modification of the crest).

Our Mascot: The Spider

We are JE Spiders and proud of it! If you’re up on your 18th century literature, you might guess that our mascot derives from our namesakes most famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. The most riveting line of which goes a little something like this: The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked… Inspiring huh? So there you have it. Spiders.

Click here for a full text version of Sinners…