Sir Isaac Newton's coat of arms was a pirate flag, and now we have to dissect that. I know, I know, writing yet another Cracked article about how Isaac Newton was a world-class weirdo is like writing a Cracked article about how Joel Schumacher traveled back in time to have a threesome with Tesla and a fart joke. But what are we to do? The father of modern science traveled around with a symbol that looked like he was on his way to raid Tortuga. We can't not talk about that. So, whatever, here it is:
For any of you coat of arms nerds reading this, the proper description for Sir Newton's Medieval equivalent of retiring your number is as follows: a field (background) of sable (black) with two shin-bones in saltire (crossed) argent (off-white), the dexter (right) surmounted of (above) the sinister (everything about this coat is sinister). And while you don't expect the crest of a noble knight of science to be the same as the ones that made merchant captains of the Caribbean crap themselves, again, this is Isaac Newton we're talking about. The only shocking aspect of his wicked coat of arms is that it isn't depicting an argent alchemist with a sewing needle in his dexter eye on a field of vert toad vomit.
Not that he picked it, mind. As the son of a farmer, Newton had no familial heraldry to rely on. But after some desperate Ancestry.com searching, he found he had some DNA in common with a line of baronet Newtons whose coat of arms loved to celebrate their long heritage of genociding during crusades. But Newton, a man obsessed with status, still loved to pepper his possessions with this adopted crest like Blackbeard loved to pepper his beard with gunpowder. He embedded it in the stone of his country manor and snuck it into his grandiose portraits. He even emblazoned it on the sides of his carriage, scaring the bejeezus out of foreign gentlemen who didn't realize that the coach with the pirate flag zooming past like it just saw a Spanish treasure coach, in fact, belonged to a gentleman who once lost a fight to an apple.
So what knightly feat did Sir Newton achieve to earn this hono(u)r? Surprisingly, he received the right to bear arms' coats only at the senile old age of 63, and it wasn't in recognition for his scientific contributions as the inventor of the cat flap either. The right was bestowed as a favor to his then patron, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for whom Newton worked as the Warden of the Royal Mint. That means he received his obsidian shield with crossbones from the Queen of England for hunting down counterfeiters and being responsible for 27 people getting hanged -- which sounds about right.
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Top Image: Wikimedia Commons / Godfrey Kneller