Heraldic Description
Ladd Coat-of-Arms:

"Or, a fesse wavy between three escallops, sable"
Translated as: "On a gold background a wide wavy black line divides three scallop shells."

The motto is: “Constant Et Ferme” (Always Ready)

The Ladd Coat Of Arms

The shape of the shield is Norman, and that seems appropriate. “The shield, mantling, and helmet should all be from the same period. A closed helmet in profile is for esquires and gentlemen. Upon the helmet rests the wreath, a twisted band (six twists) of two tinctures. The principal metal of the arms occupies the first, third, and fifth twists, and the principal color occupies the other twists. The Crest is a Panther’s Head.

In 1730, John Ladd was created Baronet by King George II. His Coat of Arms is as follows: "Or, a fess wavy between three escallops, sable". His crest: a panther face, sable, spotted; His Motto: Constant Et Ferme. (Always Ready)

The word Or is a French word meaning gold.  An escallop is a seashell  (I have seen the assumption frequently copied, that the shells on the Ladd Coat of Arms refer to participating in the Crusades. Shells were often used to indicate participation in a pilgrimage, either to Jerusalem, or more likely to Santiago in Spain, which is still being undertaken. Not at all the same thing!.)  Fess, a figure formed by two horizontal lines drawn across the shield.  It is one third of the field in width and is always placed in the center.

The Ladd coat of arms indicates that the Ladd's may have been followers of the Royal Family; for on the shield there are three scallop shells which designates that their ancestors had visited the Holy Land. Now in 1096, Robert, the eldest son of William, who, by succession should have been King - but wasn't; mortgaged his right and title to Normandy to his brother for a sufficient sum for him to join the Crusade to the Holy Land.  It has been deduced that the younger generation of Ladd's joined Robert - hence the scallop shells on the Ladd coat of arms.  It is said, too, that during the middle ages, the Pilgrims who visited the shrine of St. James at Campostella, ornamented their clothing with scallop shells. The latter is in Spain.

From encyclopedia and "query column" of Richmond Times-Dispatch.