PLATE # 54

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In this image we see the following objects for consideration:

1)  A STAG
2)  A Fleur de Lis

BUCK (STAG): The Stag is the male deer; the male of the hind.  As an emblem it is indicative of life (fabled to live over 1000 years), symbol of wisdom, regeneration, growth, and virility.  Because its antlers resemble branches, the Stag has been associated with the 'Tree of Life' and because of the way it renews its antlers, it is used as a symbol of regeneration.  During the Middle Ages, the Stag was often shown with a crucifix between its horns where, in Christianity, it represented purity and solitude and was the enemy of Satan, the serpent.  The Celts believed the Stag guided souls through the darkness (the world for departed souls).  The stag also was associated with warriors and hunting in Celtic culture and in Greco-Roman mythology where it was an animal sacred to Artemis.  In Buddhism, the golden stag represents knowledge and the Chinese regard it as a symbol of virility and happiness.  Heraldic writers say of the Stag: "One who will not fight unless provoked, a lover of music and harmony who well foresees his times and opportunities".  The Vikings used the stag as a symbol of royal status and the Romans used it as an icon of masculine values.