Michael A. Aquino

Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.)

B.A.,M.A., M.P.A., Ph.D.

Baron of Rachane

Arms: Parted per pale Gules and Vert, a lion rampant Or holding a cross ansated Argent, on a chief Azure a representation of the Great Bear constellation of the Fourth. Above the Shield, behind which is draped his feudo-baronial mantle Gules doubled of silk Argent, fur-edged of miniver and collar Ermine and fastened on the right shoulder by five spherical buttons Or, is placed a chapeau Gules furred Ermine (in (in respect of his feudal Barony of Rachane), thereon an Helm befitting his degree with a Mantling Gules doubled Or.

Crest: On a Wreath of the Liveries is set for Crest a wolf statant Argent between two sprigs of fern Proper.


Badge: As Baron of Rachane, a sprig of fern Proper charged with a representation of the Little Bear constellation Argent.

Standard: The Badge is depicted in the first and third compartments and the said Crest in the centre compartment upon a Standard three and a half metres in length of four tracts Or and Gules, split at the end, having Azure the cross of St. Andrew in the hoist, with the Motto "IN SEPTEMTRIONE CRESCO" in letters Argent upon two transverse bands Azure.

Granted: Court of the Lord Lyon, 18th May 2006.

Gules is the principal colour of my father's arms, as Vert is of my mother's, and a lion appears on both of them. This lion holds an ankh, the ancient Egyptian symbol of divine life. Against the Azure colour of the night sky, the constellation of the Great Bear, in silver stars, represents the ancient Greek legend of Callisto and Arcas, also reflected in the Little Bear of the Badge, and in the motto, "I arise in the Seven Stars [of the North]."

The name of the Barony of Rachane, on the Rosneath Peninsula in Argyll, is derived from the old Gaelic _Rathain_, meaning "a ferny place", thus the two ferns on the crest. The silver wolf, along with the Bears, represent the imperiled, spiritual, and mythical significance of these animal species, and of all such creatures generally.

The rescue, caretaking, and support of injured, abandoned, and endangered animals, both domestic and wild, has been a lifelong commitment by my wife and myself. We are members of and contributors to many humanitarian societies and foundations, both within and without the United States, and desire to make the Barony of Rachane a principal vehicle for such benevolence.