Coat of Arms
"Or, a gross gules in the dexter canton a lion rampant sable"
A description of the above is a Gold (Or) background with a red cross (gross gules), in the top left (dexter canton) hand quadrant of the cross is a black (sable) Lion in an upright position (rampant).
According to legend, the Coat of arms were were given to a BURKE ancestor by Richard Couer de Lion during the Crusades. It is said a "de Burgh"was responsible for killing a saracen chief and astounded by his bravery, Richard drew a cross with the blood of the dead saracen on de Burghs golden shield and said "these be thine arms forever".
As wonderful as this legend is, It may have been propagated by an extract relating to Baldwin De Burgh in the De Burgo manuscript - Historia et Genealogia Familiae de Burgo - "and Baldwin de Burgh took the sovereignty of the saracens and shed their blood profusely, amd killed the King, and the Egyptians fell in great numbers by him".
Although people have been decorating shields for countless centuries even before christ, heraldry is much younger than that, and well after the Crusades.
Heraldry actualy dates from the second quarter of the twelfth century and is mainly attributed to the development of armour during the medieval period. It is thought that it was a method of identification in battle due to the emergence of the closed face helmets.
The most interesting part of the Burke Coat of Arms is the "Lion rampant" this was only given to sovereigns and noblemen of high rank and is one of the oldest "Charges" to be found in heraldry. -Credit: http://www.trailstone.com/FamilyTree/Documents/coats-arms/burkarms.html
Burke Surname Origin: Irish:
Spelling variations include: de Burgh, Burke, Bourke, Burk, Bourk, Gillick and many more. The surname was first found in county Galway where lands had been granted by Strongbow, the Earl of Pembroke, for their assistance in the invasion of Ireland in 1172.
Crest Motto and it's meaning:
"Ung Roy Ung Foy Ung Loy" or "One king, One Faith, One Law"
Coat of Arms Colors and their meanings:
The coat of arms consists of a red cross over a gold shield and a sable lion rampant in the upper left corner.
Gold: (Or) "Generosity:
Red: (Gules) "Warrior, Martyr, Military Strength"
Black: (Sable) "Constancy, Grief"
The Crest is a mountain chained mountain lion or cat.
Crest Symbols and their meanings:
Cross over shield: "Christian, one who had served in the Crusades"
Rampant lion: "Fierce Courage. In Ireland the Lion represented the 'lion' season, prior to the full arrival of Summer. The symbol can also represent a great Warrior or Chief."
Helmet: "Wise defense"
Chain: "A mark of honour and obligation"