The Seal of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church was designed by the Reverend Arnold Harris Hord, who was a Charter Member of the Society. It was adopted at the Annual Meeting of the Society on April 20, 1939. In the language of hearldry, these arms are described as Purpure, a pale gules with the Tower of the Church at Jamestown argent, date 1607 above and 1910 below, between the Arms of the See of Canterbury and an Iona Cross of the last, a bordure or, with the inscription sable.
THE TOWER OF THE CHURCH AT JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA,
represents the founding of the Church in the United States in the year 1607. The date of this event appears above the Tower; the date of the founding of the Society, 1910, appears below the Tower.
THE ARMS OF THE SEE OF CANTERBURY,
represent the English Succession in the American Church and are a reminder that to the Church of England the Church in the United States “is indebted under God, for her first foundation and a long continuance of nursing care and protection.”
THE IONA CROSS,
represents the Scottish Succession in the American Church. It is an exact copy of an ancient cross in St. Oran's Chapel, the oldest church building on the Island of Iona. It is the type of cross used by the early Scottish Church. The Monastery of Iona was “long regarded as the Mother Church” of Scotland.
“Quid operatus sit Deus in Christo.” Translated into English it is: “What hath God wrought in Christ.” This is a combination of Numbers 23:23 and Ephesians 1:20, the former from the Old Testament, the latter from the New, and is intended to define in some measure the fundamental purpose and function of the Society, with the limitation in time and territory which the Tower and the date, 1607, imply. The Latin is that of the Vulgate, Editions 1839 and 1881.