I used to be ambivalent about the Morkel family crest. We do not come from European aristocracy and there are strong indications that it was acquired at the Cape. However, further reading showed a long tradition of crests in Dutch middle class families. When the Dutch settled at the Cape in 1652, crests were common. This is different from the British where they were confined to individual knights and not to families. Thus, while there is some vanity here, it is also an expression of pride and a feeling of kinship in having a crest that is already 290 years old. In our story “The Family Crest” we look into why and how stamvader Philip Morkel had his designed.