The record indicates that a Konrad Zirkel in Bavaria had the coat of arms in 1603. In 1955, the late Wilhelm Zirkel (see Wilhelm’s booklets) of Ravensburg, Germany sent historian and author, Gordon Zirkle, Roanoke, Va., a copy and description of the coat of arms. The inscription over the crest is in German, “Wapper Der Familie,” translated in English, “Coat of Arms of the Family.” The spelling of the name under the crest is “ZIRKEL”, thus we maintain this spelling when using the coat of arms.
The description: “A vertically divided shield, split into black-gold, on which a man with a bandana (the ends of which are flying sideways) is standing on a mountain in changed over colour (immediately changed over), who is holding a golden compass (golden Zirkel) downward in his right hand, the compass enclosing a golden star. On top of the shield is resting a steel coloured tournament or piercing helmet; as helmet decoration is the grown man holding a compass and star in his raised right hand. The helmet covers are black-gold on both sides.
Meaning of Symbols in Coats of Arms: “The divided shield shows that a division (branching out of the blood line) had already taken place m early times, however, the carriers of this coat of arms remained aware of their former union in their family tree. The mountain is a sign of freedom and steadfastness, possibly pointing out the ‘mountainous home’ of their forefathers. The man is the symbol of energy and willpower. In this case the compass is to be considered a hint as to the name. As a symbol the compass stands for art appreciation and a reminder of clever calculation of the hours, while time itself is a circle, and the circles of the compass are getting lost within themselves. “The star stands for good fortune and brightly shining fame. The tournament helmet means good and honest parentage, as well as bravery in wartimes. The growing man is symbolic of courageous ambition for higher goals, and for upholding of the honest name. Black is the colour of humbleness and devotion, comparable to the diamond, which shines the brighter the blacker it is.”
(This information from Zane Zirkle’s genealogy page, 2008.)