Johnston Family Crest and Motto


Prominent on the crest of the Johnston clan is a winged spur. Legend has it that while John Baliol was King of Scotland, Edward, King of England, tried to force him to make Scotland a tributary to England. Robert Bruce, a powerful Scottish earl, bitterly opposed the scheme. King Edward, upon hearing of Bruce's opposition, plotted to kill him and was only prevented from doing so by Baliol's sending the chief of the Johnston clan, known as "the Johnstone," one of his closest confidants and supporters, to Bruce with a warning. Fearing that a written message would be intercepted by the followers of the English king, the Johnstone carried to Bruce a spur to which he had tied a bird's wing. Bruce took the hint and saved himself by fleeing. When he later became King of Scotland he conferred the crest of winged spur upon the Johnston clan.

Also seen on the Johnston family crest is the motto, nunquam non paratus, never unprepared, indicating the readiness of Johnston to go to the aid of Robert Bruce and of his country and then later for William Wallace, renowned as Braveheart, as he led a rebellion against England and took the first steps toward nationhood for the Scots.