The Society was granted ensigns armorial (a coat of arms) on 12th July 1978. The text of the grant runs as follows:
To All and Sundry Whom These Presents do or may Concern
We Sir James Monteith Grant, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Writer to Her Majesty's Signet, Lord Lyon King of Arms, send Greeting: Whereas, Donald Whyte, Chairman, and Joan Primrose Scott Ferguson, Honorary Secretary of the SCOTTISH GENEALOGY SOCIETY, 9 Union Street, Edinburgh, having by Petition unto us of date 3rd February 1978, for and on behalf of the said Society, Shewn; THAT the said Society, which was founded at Edinburgh of date 30th May, 1953 by a group of historians and genealogists as a non-profit-making academic and consultative body, was constituted to undertake the collection, exchange and publication of information and material of genealogical value, and to promote the study of Scottish family history by means of meetings and lectures; THAT the said Society, which this year celebrates its 25th Anniversary, has steadily increased in size and importance, having over one thousand members in various countries of the world, throughout which they regularly publish material of genealogical and heraldic interest; AND the Petitioners having prayed that there might be granted as for the said Scottish Genealogy Society such Ensigns Armorial as might be found suitable according to the Laws of Arms, KNOW YE THEREFORE that We have Devised, and Do by These Presents Assign, Ratify and Confirm unto the Petitioners, for and on behalf of the Scottish Genealogy Society, the following Ensigns Armorial, as depicted on the margin hereof and matriculated of even date with These Presents upon the 108th page of the 59th Volume of Our Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland, videlicet:- Azure, on a saltire Argent between in chief a lion's head erased Or, langued Gules, in base an oak tree fructed Or, and in each flank a septfoil Argent, a patriarchal cross Gules, and in an Escrol below the same this Motto "FOR FAMILY AND NATION," by demonstration of which Ensigns Armorial the said Society is, amongst all Nobles and in all Places of Honour, to be taken, numbered, accounted and received as an Incorporation Noble in the Noblesse of Scotland; IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF We have Subscribed These Presents and the Seal of Our Office is affixed hereto at Edinburgh this 12th day of July in the 27th Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth the Second, By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her Other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, and in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-Eight.
J. Monteith Grant
Donald Whyte, then Chairman of the Society, writing in the December 1978 issue of The Scottish Genealogist (page 141) explained the meaning of the charges:
'The saltire and the lion's head indicate that we are a national body in our chosen subject; the septfoils - seven leaves conjoined - symbolise the unity of the family and of the nation; the fructed oak tree represents the fruitfulness of such a union; and the cross with which the saltire is charged shows we live in a patriarchal society. I hope members will be proud of our motto; FOR FAMILY AND NATION, and continue to value the concept of the family within the structure of a patriarchal society.'