The origins of the crescent symbol and sword found in the crest of Clan Mac Maolain finds its origins in the ancient mythological tales of the deity LUGH, which take place in the ancient Irish royal sites of Uisneach and Tara (now Westmeath/Meath in the modern province of Leinster=”Laighin's territory”).
It is in these narratives created by pagan scribes, that we find the forenames of the key players: Lugh, Nauda and Cian, all of which later surface with the "sons of the Luigne".
The Eric-Fine of Lugh (extract):
THE chiefs of the Tuatha De Danaan thronged round Lugh on the Hill of Usna. Lugh stood on the summit, and the Sword of Light was bare in his hand: all the hill below him shone with a radiance like white silver.
"Chiefs," cried Lugh, "behold the Sword! Ye should have three great jewels to match it.
Where are the Spear of Victory, the Cauldron of Plenty, and the Stone of Destiny?"
The Tuatha De Danaan bowed their heads and veiled their faces before Lugh, and answered:
"The Fomor have taken the Cauldron of Plenty and the Spear of Victory from us. Ask the Earth of Ireland for the Stone."
Lugh whirled the Sword till it became a glancing wheel of light, and cried:
"O Earth of Ireland, sacred and beloved, have you the Lia Fail, the Stone of Destiny?"
A strong sweet music welled up from the earth, and every stone and every leaf and every drop of water shone with light till all Ireland seemed one vast crystal, white and shining. The white light changed to rose, as it had been a ruby; and the ruby to sapphire; and the sapphire to emerald the emerald to opal; the opal to amethyst; and the amethyst to diamond, white and radiant with every colour.
"It is enough! " cried Lugh. "I am well answered: the earth of Ireland has kept the Stone."
"O Chiefs," he said, "raise up your foreheads. Though ye have not the jewels ye have the scars of battle-combat, and ye have endured sorrow and hardship for ye have known what it is to be exiles in your own land. Let us swear brotherhood now by the Sword and the Stone that we may utterly destroy the Fomor, and cleanse the world. Hold up your hands and swear, as I and those who came with me from Tir-nan-Oge will swear, and as the Sacred Land will swear, that we may have one mind and one heart and one desire amongst us all."
Then the De Danaans lifted up their hands and swore a great oath of brotherhood with the Earth and with the hosts of the Shining Ones from Tir-nan-Oge. They swore by the Sword of Light and the Stone of Destiny; by the Fire that is over the earth; and the Fire that is under the earth; and the Fire in the heart of heroes. They swore to have one mind, one heart, and one desire, until the Fomor should be destroyed. Lugh swore the same oath, and all his shining comrades from Tir-nan-Oge swore it. The hills and valleys and plains and rivers and lakes and forests of Ireland swore it--they all fastened the bond of brotherhood on themselves.
"Let us go hence," said Lugh, when the oath was ended, " and make ready for the great battle."
These are the pagan deities associated with the crest/banner of Maolain which incorporate the crescent of Danu (the De Danaan or Tauthe De) symbolic of a crescent moon, and a reference to both the goddess Danu, and the sword of light found in those tales of Lugh.
Territories associated with these mythological tales in the earliest times, were the realm of the early high kings (Ard Ri) of Ireland, with Tara (Themair) considered the prime royal site: