The Band Emblem

HKStAPB decided to adopt an emblem immeditaely after its establishment to promote the band's image and encourage a sense of belonging among members. The band's emblem is based on the design of a Scottish clan crest, blending the Scottish style with a touch of traditional Chinese taste. The qilin in the middle of the emblem also represents the spirit of the band: it is colourful, benevolent and loud.

The emblem consists of a belt and a shield in the middle. The shield is a part of heraldic design, on the upper part of the shield, there are five bauhinia blooming on the saltire. And underneath is a sophisticate design of Chinese Qilin on a golden surface, tincture Or (gold).

The HKStAPB emblem is a fusion of eastern and western style. The qilin is decorative but also represents the benevolent purposes of the band. The emblem seen here was professionlly designed by supporters of the band and was given to the band as a tribute.

The Story of Qilin

 

The qilin is one of the spiritual creatures in Chinese mythology. The qilin, dragon, phoenix and turtle were regarded as the four spiritual animals, with the qilin as the senior. The qilin is a rui shou (an animal of peace which brings "rui", translated as serenity or prosperity), other rui shou include bat, sheep, deer, carp and lion. A qilin has a deer's body with scales, a cow tail and horse legs with hooves. In ancient times the qilin was depicted with one horn (like an unicorn) but since the Song Dynastty (AD960-1279) it has been given a dragon's head.

Though the qilin looks fearsome it is a peaceful and benign creature. Qilin never tread on flowers or grass. They avoid hurting any living thing. A qilin can breathe fire and punish the wicked. Its roar is as loud as thunder but harmonious and musical (like the bagpipe). Some stories say the qilin lives for 2000 years. Others say it only appears in times when the world or the region is extremely peaceful and prosperous, or when there is a living Saint.

Folk lore associates the qilin with the birth of boys and the prosperity of families. One story says that the great master Confucius  (551-479BC) was a gift of a qilin which appeared at the door of his parents' house when he was born. So in popular tradition baby boys generally may be called "gifts from qilin".

 

Right: Painting of Confucius

During the Ming Dynasty (AD1368-1644) the famous eunuch admiral Zheng He made his historic "Voyage to the Western Ocean" between 1405 and 1433. He led an imperial fleet to East Africa and brought two giraffes back to the Ming Dynasty's capital in Beijing. The Arabic word for giraffe is "giri", which is pronounced quite like qilin. So the Emperor proclaimed that the giraffes were qilin, suggesting that his achievements for the empire had led to the appearance of the auspicious animal.

 

Left: Tribute qilin from Bengal , by Shen Du in 1414

Painting of "Qilin Gives Boy"

麒 麟瑞獸孔子瑞應麒麟圖先師孔子行教像麒麟送子圖
<http://www.pipeband.org.hk>
Copyright © Hong Kong St. Andrew'sPipe Band