In ancient times, a Chief wore in battle a distinguishing badge on his helmet, a device that his followers could recognize in the turmoil of action. This is known as the Crest of the Chief, and appears at the top of his heraldic achievement (i.e.image including the coat of arms). The clan badge generally takes the form of the Chief’s Crest surrounded by a Strap and Buckle Garter. Anyone bearing the same name as a Scottish Chief, or descendant from the clan's first chief, is considered a clansman of the Chief, and has the privilege of wearing the clan badge to denote his clan allegiance.
An historic clan badge for the Muirhead Clan is not known to have existed. Indeed, even whether the Muirhead family members considered themselves to constitute a clan is questionable. In the absence of such an historic clan badge, Larry D. Smith created one. The following is, therefore, an artistic representation of what the clan badge could have looked like.
The imagery of the badge derives from the poem of Sir Walter Scott, The Laird Of Muirhead, which begins:
|Afore the King in order stude
The stout laird of Muirhead,
Wi’ that same two-hand muckle sword
That Bartram fell’d stark dead…
The phrase, two-hand muckle sword, translates as ‘two-handed great sword’, similar (and possibly referring) to the famed Scottish sword, the claidhmhichean-mhora, or claymore.
The motto, Auxilio Dei appears on the buckle strap.