Carleton Family Coat of Arms
The Carleton Coat of Arms, believed to come from the authentic family escutcheon of our namesake William Carleton, was adopted by the college in 1898 for use by the Athletic union.
The escutcheon has a Knight on the top. Although Carleton athletic teams were officially given the name "Knights" by student vote in the fall of 1950, the association of a Knight with Carleton goes back much further. Since at least 1922 (with a break during the war years) it was a tradition for a mounted knight in armor to parade before the stands at homecoming football games.
The motto reads: "Non ad Perniciem" [Not for Destruction]
(In fact, genealogical research Eric Hillemann, Carleton College Archivist, did on William Carleton, College namesake, in the summer of 1996 suggests that this was all based on a faulty genealogy and that the Carleton Coat of Arms is derived from the escutcheon of the wrong branch of the Carleton family. The correct escutcheon does also have a Knight on it, by the way, so singing groups and athletic teams can rest easy.)