In the style of medieval coats of arms, the logo for Our Savior Lutheran School encapsulates what we believe and teach. It is in the shape of a shield, called an escutcheon. Everything contained on a coat of arms has significance—from the colors and patterns to the spatial arrangement. The shield is of course a defensive object in battle, an image that Martin Luther evoked for Christian warfare when he penned the hymn, “A mighty fortress is our God; a trusty shield and weapon.”
The shield is outlined in black signifying our sinful nature and our need for a Savior. That outline is buffered by the color white signifying the saving work of Christ on the cross which redeems us poor sinners and serves as the basis for our daily work and vocations at Our Savior Lutheran School.
The shield has three layers.
The first layer of green signifies the growing and nurturing of the young Christian that is done at Our Savior Lutheran School daily. In the Christian Church, the liturgical color for the season of Trinity is green. This time of the church year focuses on the Christian life and sanctification-the work of the Holy Spirit.
The second layer holds Martin Luther’s rose which you see throughout our campus reminding you of Luther’s intent for understanding the Christian faith through this seal. It backs the OSL eagle and is completed on the breast of the eagle, while still maintaining the greens and whites of the shield colors.
Here is how Luther himself explained its meaning: First, there is a black cross in a heart that remains its natural color. This is to remind me that it is faith in the Crucified One that saves us. Anyone who believes from the heart will be justified (Romans 10:10). It is a black cross, which mortifies and causes pain, but it leaves the heart its natural color. It doesn’t destroy nature, that is to say, it does not kill us but keeps us alive, for the just shall live by faith in the Crucified One (Romans 1:17). The heart should stand in the middle of a white rose. This is to show that faith gives
joy, comfort, and peace—it puts the believer into a white, joyous rose. Faith does not give peace and joy like the world gives (John 14:27). This is why the rose must be white, not red. White is the color of the spirits and angels (cf. Matthew 28:3; John 20:12). This rose should stand in a sky-blue field, symbolizing that a joyful spirit and faith is a beginning of heavenly, future joy, which begins now, but is grasped in hope, not yet fully revealed. Around the field of blue is a golden ring to symbolize that blessedness in heaven lasts forever and has no end. Heavenly blessedness is exquisite, beyond all joy and better than any possessions, just as gold is the most valuable and precious metal. (From: Letter from Martin Luther to Lazarus Spengler, July 8, 1530 [WA Br 5:445]; tr. P. T. McCain)
The third layer is the eagle which signifies the symbolic strength of God. Isaiah depicts God as an eagle when he wrote “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). The eagle is further symbolized when Moses said of God “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions” (Deut. 32:11). The eagle can bear up the young eaglets on its pinions, which are the outer wings. This is basically what God did when He brought Israel out of captivity from Egypt and continued to bear her up in her wanderings in the wilderness.
The eagle is then covered with the heart from Luther’s seal and is mounted with the symbol of the cross which reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice and death upon that cross to redeem us, poor sinners.