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The Cadillac emblem is one of few in the automotive industry whose origins legitimately belong to a family name.

Le Sieur Antoine De La Mothe Cadillac was born in Gascony on March 5, 1658. He was of a prominent family since he earned a comission in the Royal Army. He founded Detroit in 1701.

Breaking the coat of arms into its components:

The Couronne (Crown)-The crown symbolizes the six ancient counts of France. Each tip is topped with a pearl, a symbol of descendancy from the royal counts of Tolouse.

The Shield-In heraldry, a shield represents the origins of a noble family. Its shape is of no consequence, and it pertains to those shield shapes used during the Crusades. The original Cadillac shield though, is round.

The First and Fourth Quarterings-They display the arms de la Mothe. The birds are merlettes, which are heraldic adaptations of the martin. They are set in trios to represent the Holy Trinity. Merlettes were usually awarded by the school of heralds to knights making significant contributions in the Crusades. The color- black against gold- represents wisdom and riches. The "fess" or lateral black bar, represents an award for Crusader service.

The Second and Third Quarterings-The red band symbolizes prowess and boldness in action. The silver represents purity, charity, virtue, and plenty. The blue represents knightly valor.

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