Understand The Coat Of Arms
The Coat of Arms
Members may be interested to hear the origin of the coat of arms of the Association. The following
explanation is from Robert Laing, a noted South African heraldist who advised on its incorporation.
The name of the Association
Almost from the start of the Association it has been known as the International Association of Oral
Pathologists. In 1995, after over 10 years of discussion, the American Academy of Oral Pathology decided to
change its name to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and the official name of the specialty
was changed at the American Dental Association. Since then the same name has been adopted by oral pathologists in a
number of other countries and in 2016 the Council of the Association decided we should adopt the name for our
Initially, the coat of arms was not changed but in 2018 we have changed the wording around the coat
of arms to match the name of the Association. However, we have decided not to adopt the abbreviation IAOMP as this
might lead to confusion with the Indian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologists.
Blazon: Per fess Azure and Argent, gouttée de sang; a chief indented (of sixteen) Or and in base
two roundels sanguine.
Symbolism: Reading the design from the top down - the top is gold representing the light or the
The sixteen indentations represent teeth as well as epithelial surface pathology.
The blue (Azure) represents oral epithelium when stained with haematoxylin.
The gouttée de sang (literally drops of blood) represents the anlage, basal cell proliferations,
The blood-coloured roundels in base represent tumours or cysts deep to the oral epithelium.
My comment at that time: Should any of the divisions of the International Association ever need to have their own
version of the coat of arms, this can be done quite easily by adding a single charge in the top left hand corner,
e.g. a protea for South Africa, an eagle for the United States, a maple leaf for Canada, and so forth.