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   "Seek and You Shall Find"
The Puerto Rican Hispanic Genealogical Society
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By Miguel J. Hernandez y Torres
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Since time immemorial individuals and organizations the world over have sought to distinguish themselves from others through the use of emblems that symbolized  their ancestry and conveyed their sense of purpose. In line with this  practice, the board of directors of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Genealogical Society determined that it needed a unique insignia that was representative of the ancestral roots of its members and of its organizational goals and objectives. This task was given over to board 
member Miguel Hernández and 
Francisco "Coqui" Baerga, a talented computer graphics artist. Several other board members also provided helpful suggestions that resulted in the production of a new "escudo" or coat-of-arms of the society. 

The coat-of-arms is set on a shield representing protection of all who belong to the PRHGS. The shield is divided by two background colors, red which is symbolic of the blood spilt by Puerto Ricans in various wars, and blue, which represents the seas that wash up on the shores of the island of Puerto Rico. The white Maltese Cross on the shield is the emblem of monks belonging to La Orden de San Juan Bautista de Jerusalem -- the Order of St.John the Baptist of Jerusalem, wore on their habits during the crusades. 

San Juan Bautista, of course, was the name that Cristóbal Colón gave to the island when he came upon it in 1493. This religious/military order evolved into the Caballeros de Malta -- the Knights of Malta. Their cross was later adopted by Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment. We remember their invincible courage by including it here. 

In the center of the cross are three figures who represent the ancestral roots of Puerto Rico. The woman in the center depicts the indigenous Tainos of Puerto Rico. She is flanked by two men who stand, respectively,  for the 
Spanish/ European and African  people who later inhabited Puerto Rico. 
 

 

 
The motto of the PRGHS is "Seek And You Shall Find" appears below the shield. It is a quotation from the New Testament, Matthew 7:7 and while PRHGS is a secular organization, it is an apt reminder that in order to find one's ancestors, one must  work at it. Additionally,  attached to the perimeter of the shield are the national flags of all of the countries, including  the United States, where Hispanic people live and maintain their culture, language and traditions. Although the PRHGS focus is primarily on Puerto Rican genealogy, the flags demonstrate that family histories cross all economic, social and political borders. 
 
Copyright 1999 © Puerto Rican / Hispanic Genealogical Society
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Copyright © 1996 - 1999 Puerto Rican Hispanic Genealogical Society
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 Última modificación el: 23 de marzo de 1999 | Last Update: March 23, 1999
Please tell us what you think!  Our e-mail address is prhgs@yahoo.com
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