Martin Luther’s Shield

Martin Luther designed his famous “Luther Seal” or “Luther Rose” at a time when heraldry was the custom. Shields painted with flashy colors and symbols were a common sight. The royal dynasty, mighty city, proud merchant guild, worthy family and bold knight all made use of a “coat of arms.”

Experience taught Martin Luther that his life was a battle between God and the devil. They were both fighting for his heart. Martin said he would paint his shield
like this:

Luther's shield4Black Cross
The first thing expressed in my seal is a cross.

Red Heart
Faith in Christ crucified saves us. Even though the cross is black, brings death, and causes pain, yet it does not change the color of the heart.

White Rose
This heart will stand in the middle of a white rose. This will show that faith gives joy, comfort and peace. Faith, however, does not give peace and joy in proportion to what is tangible and visible. Therefore this rose is white, not red.

Blue Sky
This rose, furthermore, stands in a sky-blue background. This shows that such joy in spirit and faith is but a beginning of heavenly joy.

Gold Circle
Around all this shall be a golden ring, to show that such happiness in heaven lasts forever, has no end, goes beyond all joys and treasures … just as gold is the most precious metal.

5 symbols, 5 colors:

  • black cross: Christ
  • red heart: me
  • white rose: forgiveness
  • blue sky: heaven
  • gold ring: endless

About livinghopeomaha

We are a WELS Lutheran Church located in Omaha, Nebraska, in the Millard area. We invite you to learn with us about Christ’s love and our calling. We provide child care and preschool education through Our Precious Lambs.
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