(Disclaimer: This article is not part of the traditions and lectures of ΑΦΩ Phils., which also found on this website. This article is based on a research on ΑΦΩ’s general history.)

The Original Coat of Arms

The original ΑΦΩ Coat of Arms was designed by Everett W. Probst.

Probst had previously founded a new local fraternity at Lafayette College called Fraternity of Mound Builders, or Krescents, before Frank Reed Horton convinced Probst to abandon the Krescents and join him in founding ΑΦΩ in 1925.

The Coat of Arms underwent several authorized AND unauthorized revisions.

The original version of the Coat of Arms was first seen on the March 1928 Torch and Trefoil Issue.

The original version designed by Everett W. Probst shows six (6) trefoils (not 3 torches and 3 fleur-de-lis).

Note also that the so called “Lafayette’s Cross” is shaded instead of white, while the “12 droplets” have the “two-over-one” arrangement.

First CoA

The original ΑΦΩ Coat of Arms designed by Everett W. Probst











First Authorized Revision

The Coat of Arms was first revised in 1931 and was first seen on the Fall of 1933 issue of The Lightbearer.

CoA Fall 1933

The revised COA as first displayed on the Fall 1933 issue of The Lightbearer

The six (6) trefoils (cloverleaf) were replaced by three lighted torches and three fleur-de-lis symbols to reflect changes in the Initiation Ritual of Alpha Phi Omega.

Bro. Andrew R. Janson (Xi Chapter), National Board Member of that year, was the one who re-drew the Coat of Arms as it essentially exists today. He was not credited explicitly with the revision, however.

On page 3 of Volume 7, No. 2 of The Lightbearer (dated May 10, 1932), there is a short piece entitled “Crests” that reads in part, “Brother Andrew R. Janson, a nationally known artist and illustrator of the Boy Scout Hand Book, makes very beautiful Alpha Phi Omega crests, suitable for framing.” The piece goes on to inform the Chapters that they can contact Brother Janson in San Diego for “art work of any kind.”

Andrew R. Janson Crests - LB May '32

Article about Bro. Janson making “beautiful crests (CoAs) suitable for framing.” Source: The Lightbearer, May 1932











Brother Janson became the Chair of the Extension Committee following the March 1931 National Convention, and served in that role until the 4th National Convention in December 1932, when Brother C.M. Finnell (Mu) replaced him.

Fortunately, he signed the original that was first published in The Lightbearer Fall 1933 T&T. On the left is written “Santa Fe, NM,” and the right, his name, “A.R. Janson.”

Coat of Arms - Janson

Markings of Bro. Janson magnified on the revised CoA. Source: Photo archives of Bro. Jessie Castillo, Epsilon ’68, Life Member ’76.











Founder Frank Reed Horton officially acknowledged this change when he wrote the memorial tribute to Probst on the January 1959 issue of the Torch & Trefoil.

Ptobst & the CoA - T&T Jan '59

Article of Frank Reed Horton acknowledging the changes to the CoA originally designed by Everett W. Probst. Source: Torch & Trefoil, January 1959.












These same changes were also narrated on the History Facts section of the ΑΦΩ History Book of 1993.

CoA on History Book - History Book 1993

Article enumerating the official changes to the CoA. Source: APO History Book, 1993



The “Unofficial” Changes

Though no National Convention after 1931 made any adoption to revise the Coat of Arms anew, changes to it have been made, nonetheless.

The changes made by Janson in 1931 did not include three things that are now found on the Coat of Arms of today:

1. The “two-over-one” droplet arrangement,
2. The “wind-blown” depiction of the three torches, and
3. When the CoA was given the royal blue and gold colors, the so called “Lafayette’s Cross” was rendered in the color white.

From its first publication in 1931, until the February 1948 issue of the Torch and Trefoil, the “two-over-one” droplet arrangement was the only version seen on the publication. After this, the Coat of Arms was not seen on the publication for several years.

The first time the Coat of Arms with the “one-over-two” droplet arrangement was seen was on the background of the cover page of the Torch and Trefoil’s April 1957 issue.

This Coat of Arms also had the “wind-blown” depiction of the three torches and the white color to the so called “Lafayette’s Cross”, also seen for the first time on the publication.

Cover Page - T&T Apr '57

First time displayed on the Torch & Trefoil that a real-life CoA with its twelve “droplets” showing the “one-over-two” arrangement. Source: Torch & Trefoil, April 1957.











The Coat of Arms in question is most likely the property of Epsilon Psi Chapter, Kent State University.

The first time that an ILLUSTRATION of the Coat of Arms with the “one-over-two” droplets arrangement was seen on the Torch and Trefoil’s April 1960 Issue.

First time displayed on the Torch & Trefoil of a CoA illustration that the twelve “droplets” had taken a “one-over-two” pattern. Source: Torch & Trefoil, April 1960.












However, instead of the “wind-blown” torches, the original thin and long torches returned.

It is likely that LG Balfour, the official jeweler of ΑΦΩ, may have had a hand in “refining” the depiction of the Coat of Arms and in incorporating the “unofficial changes” to its image as it manufactured three-dimensional, full bodied Coat of Arms that attempted to mimic what was originally a two-dimensional illustration on paper.

An article implying their potential involvement in the unofficial changes can be found on the The Lightbearer, Fall 1933 issue.

LG Balfour CoA services - P6, LB Fall '33

Paragraph mentioning the contribution of LG Balfour in manufacturing real-life CoAs and Badges as pins based on two-dimensional illustrations. Source: The Lightbearer, Fall 1933.








Surprisingly, the Coat of Arms illustration with the “two-over-one” droplet arrangement returned to the Torch and Trefoil on the November 1964 issue, despite the widespread use of the “one-over-two” rendition.

T&T Nov '64, Page 12

The first return of the “two-over-one” arrangement of the CoA’s twelve “droplets” on the Torch and Trefoil. Source: Torch & Trefoil, November 1964.












On occasions, the Coat of Arms with the “two-over-one” droplet arrangement can still be found being used today.

two-over-one ernesto volante

Present-day CoA showing the “two-over-one” arrangement of the twelve “droplets.” Photo courtesy of Bro. Ernesto Volante .

The current version of the Coat of Arms, as depicted in the ΑΦΩ Phils Brand Guide and and the ΑΦΩ USA Graphics Guide, is generally rendered in blue and gold, shows the “one-over-two” droplet arrangement and the wind-blown torches.










The present Coat of Arms. Source: APO Phils Brand Guide











Non-compliant Coat of Arms Renditions

There are have of late emerged a few renditions of the Coat of Arms that are not consistent to, or compliant with, what was set forth in the ΑΦΩ Phils Brand Guide and and the ΑΦΩ USA Graphics Guide in terms of coloring and depiction of parts.


The following are some of the non-compliant renditions of the CoA:

the helmet is closed, the mantle is different, and the bottom banner is different.

The helmet is closed, the mantle is different, and the bottom banner is different.

Green fleur de lis and red flames. These are not the right colors.

Green fleur de lis and red flames. These are not the correct colors.


Co-researched by:

Bro. Jessie Castillo, Epsilon Chapter ’68, Life Member ’76


Know more about us... add us on social media!

News & Articles

New Guidelines for Life Membership still pending

This is to inform you that the Policy Charter Committee is still drafting the Guidelines for the issuance of life membership. In this regard, please be advised that the CoMe cannot yet process your life membership until said guidelines will have been finalized and approved.
April 18, 2018 / Comments

Annual General Assembly website is up

The General Assembly of 2018 is the first of the Annual GAs of the APO Philippines. It is organized by a Special Committee with mandate from the National Board of Trustees thru Board Resolution 1719-024. The Special Committee works with National Officers and the Regional Directors to carry out the General Assembly activities on 18-19 May 2018, including pre and post activities.
March 5, 2018 / Comments

Our Strength Is Having Minds With Hearts To Serve

Happy anniversary Sisters and Brothers here and around the world! Let us fill our Founding day with fun and happiness for good memories because anniversaries are celebrated. In October this year, we joined the Scouting Month with our members and basic organizational units engaging in various activities. Some might not… Read More
December 16, 2017 / Comments

APOLLO Induction and Testimonial Dinner

Alpha Phi Omega Lawyers League Induction Ceremonies and Testimonial Dinner last October 27, 2017 at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.
November 3, 2017 / Comments

Converge the strands of LFS, Intensify the APO Spirit

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE FOR SCOUTING MONTH 2017 Before Alpha Phi Omega was founded by Frank Reed Horton, he realized that the Scout Oath and Scout Law were what he had been seeking. The tolerance among Scouts from various faiths impressed Brother Horton as he witnessed how the Scouts worked together and worshiped… Read More
October 29, 2017 / Comments

Confirmed Appointed Officers DY 2017-2018

July 29, 2017 / Comments

Message from the President-Elect

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I am so humbled with all your congratulatory messages and good thoughts. Right now we are still tied up with post convention duties like continously working and meeting with the 29th NBGA Host APO GAAM, headed by the Convention Chairman and President Bro Gerry Arbis. It… Read More
June 22, 2017 / Comments

APO Marawi Relief Operations

In view of our continued efforts to help and assist our brothers and sisters affected by the Marawi siege, we are creating a special committee to oversee and coordinate all these efforts from various groups in order to account and record all donors as well as the list of victims who were recipients, and even those who did not receive any until this time.
June 20, 2017 / Comments

ICAPO Delegates R&R

APO-USA R&R Tue 05/23/2017. Thanks, Brod Rey Pendon and Sis Maribelle Santos-Pendon, for the video recording by drone of the APO-USA delegation rest-and-recreation and fun-and-fellowship in Laguna, Quezon, and Metropolitan Manila Tue 05/23/2017.
June 20, 2017 / Comments

Our National Officers for DY 2017-2019

NATIONAL OFFICERS DY 2017-2019 BOARD OF TRUSTEES National President Roel E. Fernandez;  Alpha Gamma 2003 National Executive Vice President  Marcelino S. Ferry; Epsilon Omicron 2002 Vice President for Alumni  Lauro Gerald L. Hernandez; Psi 1993 Vice President for Fraternity Christian S. Canlas; Nu Pi 2009 Vice President for Sorority Reiniel… Read More
June 7, 2017 / Comments