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    Heraldry

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    • Heraldry by country

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    • Armorials

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    • Heraldic artists

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    • Heraldic authorities

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    • Heraldic charges

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    • Coats of arms

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    • Ecclesiastical heraldry

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    • Headgear in heraldry

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    • Heraldic badges

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    • Heraldic sites

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    • Heraldists

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    • Heraldry in fiction

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    • Heraldry and law

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    • Literature on heraldry

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    • Military heraldry

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    • Officers of arms

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    • Offices of arms

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    • Seals (insignia)

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    • Heraldic societies

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    • Heraldic tinctures

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    • Totem poles

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    • Vexillology

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    • Heraldry stubs

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    • Heraldry

    • Heraldry (/ˈhɛrəldri/) is a broad term, encompassing the design, display, and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, rank, and pedigree. Armory, the most familiar branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmi ... Read »


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    • Abatement (heraldry)

    • An abatement (sometimes termed rebatement) is a modification of a coat of arms, representing a less-than honorable augmentation, imposed by an heraldic authority (such as the Court of Chivalry in England) or by royal decree for misconduct. The practice of inverting the entire escutcheon of an armiger found guilty of hi ... Read »


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    • Achievement (heraldry)

    • An achievement, armorial achievement or heraldic achievement (historical: hatchment) in heraldry is a full display of all the heraldic components to which the bearer of a coat of arms is entitled. An achievement comprises not only the armorials themselves displayed on the Escutcheon, the central element, but also the f ... Read »


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    • Ancient and modern arms

    • Ancient and modern are terms used in heraldry to differentiate two different coats of arms used at different periods by a family or other bearer. Reasons for changing arms have been numerous, the most famous being the change in the French royal arms to show three fleurs-de-lis instead of semee de lis, possibly to symbo ... Read »


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    • Arm and hammer (symbol)

    • The arm and hammer is a symbol consisting of a muscular arm holding a hammer. Used in ancient times as a symbol of the god Vulcan, it came to be known as a symbol of industry, for example blacksmithing and gold-beating. It has been used a symbol by many different kinds of organizations, including banks, local governmen ... Read »


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    • Armiger

    • In heraldry, an armiger is a person entitled to use a heraldic achievement (e.g., bear arms, an "armour-bearer") either by hereditary right, grant, matriculation, or assumption of arms. Such a person is said to be armigerous. The Latin word armiger literally means "arms-bearer". In high and late medieval England, ... Read »


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    • Arms of dominion

    • Arms of Dominion are the arms borne both by a monarch and the state in a monarchy. In this respect they are both the national arms and the arms of the nation's monarch, who is the monarchy's sovereign, and are thus simultaneously the personal arms of the monarch and the arms of the state he or she reigns over. The fa ... Read »


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    • Arrondi

    • Arrondi, or arrondie, in heraldry, as in cross-arrondi, or rounded, is that whose arms are composed of sections of a circle, not opposite to each other, so as to make the arm bulge out thicker in one part than another; but both the sections of each arm lie the same way, so that the arm is of a uniform thickness through ... Read »


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    • Atomic heraldry

    • Heraldry (/ˈhɛrəldri/) is a broad term, encompassing the design, display, and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, rank, and pedigree. Armory is the most familiar branch of heraldry, concerning the design and tra ... Read »


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    • Attitude (heraldry)

    • In heraldry, an attitude is the position in which an animal, fictional beast, mythical creature, human or human-like being is emblazoned as a charge, supporter or crest. Many attitudes apply only to predatory beasts and are exemplified by the beast most frequently found in heraldry—the lion. Some other terms apply ... Read »


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    • Attributed arms

    • Attributed arms are Western European coats of arms given retrospectively to persons real or fictitious who died before the start of the age of heraldry in the latter half of the 12th century. Arms were assigned to the knights of the Round Table, and then to biblical figures, to Roman and Greek heroes, and to kings and ... Read »


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    • Augmentation of honour

    • In heraldry, an augmentation (often termed augmentation of honour or sometimes augmentation of arms) is a modification or addition to a coat of arms, typically given by a monarch as either a mere mark of favour, or a reward or recognition for some meritorious act. The grants of entire new coats by monarchs as a reward ... Read »


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    • Banderole

    • A banderole (French: [bɑ̃dʁɔl], "little banner") is a comparatively small but long flag, historically used by knights and on ships, and as a heraldic device for representing bishops. Bannerol, in its main uses is the same as banderole, and is the term especially applied to banners about a yard square ca ... Read »


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    • Baron and feme

    • In English law, baron and feme is a phrase used for husband and wife, in relation to each other, who were accounted as one person by coverture. Hence, by the old law of evidence, the one party was excluded from giving evidence for or against the other in civil questions, and a relic of this is still preserved in crimin ... Read »


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    • Beyeren Armorial

    • Beyeren Armorial

      Five series: The Beyeren Armorial is a medieval manuscript containing 1096 hand-colored coats of arms, with annotations in Middle Dutch. It is held by in the National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague (KB), shelf mark 79 K 21. The manuscript was compiled at the court of Holland and was completed on 23 June ... Read »


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    • Blazon

    • In heraldry and heraldic vexillology, a blazon is a formal description of a coat of arms, flag or similar emblem, from which the reader can reconstruct the appropriate image. The verb to blazon means to create such a description. The visual depiction of a coat of arms or flag traditionally has considerable latitude in ... Read »


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    • Burgher arms

    • Burgher arms are coats of arms borne by persons of the burgher social class of continental Europe (usually called bourgeois in English) since the Middle Ages. By definition, the term is alien to British heraldry. Although the term burgher arms refers to the bourgeoisie, it is often extended also to arms of (Protestant ... Read »


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    • Cabossed

    • In heraldry, cabossed, or caboched, is a term used where the head of a beast is cut off behind the ears, by a section parallel to the face; or by a perpendicular section: in contrast to couping, which is done by a horizontal line, and farther from the ears than cabossing. In other words, heads may appear cabossed (als ... Read »


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    • Cadency

    • In heraldry, cadency is any systematic way of distinguishing otherwise identical coats of arms belonging to members of the same family. Cadency is necessary in heraldic systems in which a given design may be owned by only one person at once, generally the head of the senior line of a particular family. Because heraldic ... Read »


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    • Canting arms

    • Canting arms are heraldic bearings that represent the bearer's name (or, less often, some attribute or function) in a visual pun or rebus. The term cant came into the English language from Anglo-Norman cant, meaning song or singing, from Latin cantāre, and English cognates include canticle, chant, accent, incantatio ... Read »


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    • Charge (heraldry)

    • In heraldry, a charge is any emblem or device occupying the field of an escutcheon (shield). This may be a geometric design (sometimes called an ordinary) or a symbolic representation of a person, animal, plant, object or other device. In French blazon, the ordinaries are called pièces while other charges are called ... Read »


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    • Civic heraldry

    • Civic heraldry is a term for heraldry when used by municipalities. Cities, towns, boroughs and other civic bodies often use heraldic arms as symbols for themselves and their authority. The traditions differ somewhat from one country to the other, but some similarities can be seen which distinguish all civic heraldry f ... Read »


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    • Collar (order)

    • A collar is an ornate chain, often made of gold and enamel, and set with precious stones, which is worn about the neck as a symbol of membership in various chivalric orders. It is a particular form of the livery collar, the grandest form of the widespread phenomenon of livery in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period. ... Read »


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    • Compartment (heraldry)

    • In heraldry, a compartment is a design placed under the shield, usually rocks, a grassy mount (mount vert), or some sort of other landscape upon which the supporters are depicted as standing. Care must be taken to distinguish true compartments from items upon which supporters are merely resting one or more feet, or, so ... Read »


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    • Compone

    • In heraldry, an ordinary componé, compony, gobony or anciently gobonne is composed of a row of panes of alternating tinctures; most often affecting the bordure. Certain charges cannot be compony, for practical reasons, such as, in general, common charges, and the chief as they are generally not long and thin as a r ... Read »


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    • Crest (heraldry)

    • A crest is a component of a heraldic achievement, consisting of the device borne on top of the helm, itself placed over the coat of arms. Originating in the decorative sculptures worn by knights in tournaments during the Middle Ages, and, to a lesser extent, battles, crests became solely pictorial after the 16th centu ... Read »


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    • Defacement (flag)

    • Defacement is a term used in heraldry and vexillology to refer to the addition of a symbol or charge to another flag. For example, the New Zealand flag is the British Blue Ensign defaced with a Southern Cross in the fly. In the context of vexillology, the word "deface" carries no negative connotations, in contrast to g ... Read »


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    • Dexter and sinister

    • Dexter and sinister are terms used in heraldry to refer to specific locations in an escutcheon bearing a coat of arms, and to the other elements of an achievement. "Dexter" (Latin for "right") means to the right from the viewpoint of the bearer of the shield, i.e. the bearer's proper right, to the left from that of the ... Read »


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    • Diapering

    • Diaper is any of a wide range of decorative patterns used in a variety of works of art, such as stained glass, heraldic shields, architecture, and silverwork. Its chief use is in the enlivening of plain surfaces. For the etymology see "diaper," meaning children's nappy. Oxford dictionary gives us the Greek dia for ... Read »


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    • Dimidiation

    • In heraldry, dimidiation is a method of marshalling (heraldically combining) two coats of arms. For a time, dimidiation preceded the method known as impalement. Whereas impalement involves placing the whole of both coats of arms side by side in the same shield, dimidiation involves placing the dexter half of one coat ... Read »


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    • Division of the field

    • In heraldry, the field (background) of a shield can be divided into more than one area, or subdivision, of different tinctures, usually following the lines of one of the ordinaries and carrying its name (e.g. a shield divided in the shape of a chevron is said to be parted "per chevron"). Shields may be divided this way ... Read »


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    • Ecclesiastical heraldry

    • Ecclesiastical heraldry refers to the use of heraldry within the Christian Church for dioceses and Christian clergy. Initially used to mark documents, ecclesiastical heraldry evolved as a system for identifying people and dioceses. It is most formalized within the Catholic Church, where most bishops, including the Pope ... Read »


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    • Embowed

    • Embowed is a term in heraldry and architecture which means: The heraldic examples illustrated show the pile embowed inverted throughout azure of the Coat of arms of the Western Cape, and the three legs embowed conjoined in the fesse points in armour proper spurred and garnished or of the Triskelion on the Flag of the ... Read »


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    • Erasure (heraldry)

    • Erasure in blazonry, the language of heraldry, is the tearing off of part of a charge, leaving a jagged edge of it remaining. Due to the usual construction of blazons, this is most often found in its adjectival form (i.e., erased), usually applied to animate charges, most often used of heads but sometimes other body pa ... Read »


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    • Escutcheon (heraldry)

    • In heraldry, an escutcheon (/ᵻˈskʌtʃən/) is a shield that forms the main or focal element in an achievement of arms. The word is used in two related senses. Firstly, as the shield on which a coat of arms is displayed. Escutcheon shapes are derived from actual shields used by knights in combat, and thu ... Read »


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    • Field (heraldry)

    • In heraldry, the background of the shield is called the field. The field is usually composed of one or more tinctures (colours or metals) or furs. The field may be divided or may consist of a variegated pattern. In rare modern cases the field (or a subdivision thereof) is not a tincture, but is shown as a scene from a ... Read »


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    • Fimbriation

    • In heraldry and vexillology, fimbriation is the placement of small stripes of colour (technically called "tincture" in this sense in heraldry) around common charges or ordinaries, usually in order for them to stand out from the background, or perhaps just because the designer felt it looked better, or for a more techni ... Read »


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    • Funerary hatchment

    • A funerary hatchment is a depiction within a black lozenge-shaped frame, generally on a black (sable) background, of a deceased's heraldic achievement, that is to say the escutcheon showing the arms, together with the crest and supporters of his family or person. Regimental Colours and other military or naval emblems a ... Read »


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    • Fusily

    • The lozenge in heraldry is a diamond-shaped charge (an object that can be placed on the field of the shield), usually somewhat narrower than it is tall. It is to be distinguished in modern heraldry from the fusil, which is like the lozenge but narrower, though the distinction has not always been as fine and is not alwa ... Read »


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    • Gonfalon

    • The gonfalon, gonfanon, gonfalone (from the early Italian confalone) is a type of heraldic flag or banner, often pointed, swallow-tailed, or with several streamers, and suspended from a crossbar in an identical manner to the ancient Roman vexillum. It was first adopted by Italian medieval communes, and later, by local ... Read »


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    • Gonfaloniere

    • The Gonfaloniere was the holder of a highly prestigious communal office in medieval and Renaissance Italy, notably in Florence and the Papal States. The name derives from gonfalone, the term used for the banners of such communes. In Florence, the office was known as Gonfaloniere of Justice and was held by one of the n ... Read »


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    • Gonfaloniere of Justice

    • Gonfaloniere of Justice (Gonfaloniere di Giustizia) was a post in the government of medieval and early Renaissance Florence. Like Florence's Priori, it was introduced in 1293 when Giano Della Bella's Ordinamenti di Giustizia came into force. He was one of the nine citizens selected by drawing lots every two months, wh ... Read »


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    • Grant of arms

    • A grant of arms is an action by a lawful authority, such as an officer of arms, conferring on a person and his or her descendants the right to bear a particular coat of arms or armorial bearings. It is one of the ways in which a person may lawfully bear arms in a jurisdiction regulating heraldry, another being by birth ... Read »


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    • Herald

    • A herald, or, more correctly, a herald of arms, is an officer of arms, ranking between pursuivant and king of arms. The title is commonly applied more broadly to all officers of arms. Heralds were originally messengers sent by monarchs or noblemen to convey messages or proclamations—in this sense being the predec ... Read »


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    • Heraldic authority

    • A heraldic authority is defined as an office or institution which has been established by a reigning monarch or a government to deal with heraldry in the country concerned. It does not include private societies or enterprises which design and/or register coats of arms. Over the centuries, many countries have establish ... Read »


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    • Heraldic badge

    • A heraldic badge, an emblem, an impresa, or device, or personal device worn as a badge indicates allegiance to, or the property of, an individual or family. Medieval forms are usually called a livery badge, and also a cognizance. They are para-heraldic, not necessarily using elements from the coat of arms of the person ... Read »


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    • Heraldic courtesy

    • Heraldic courtesy or courtoisie is a term used in heraldry when two arms are combined next to each other. The dexter arms is mirror-imaged so its charge is turned towards the sinister arms, out of courtesy. This is usually done, when the arms are showing an alliance. This placement of two arms next to each other is of ... Read »


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    • Heraldic flag

    • In heraldry and vexillology, a heraldic flag is any of several types of flags, containing coats of arms, heraldic badges, or other devices used for personal identification. When it is for the personal use of a monarch, it is a royal standard. Heraldic flags include banners, standards, pennons and their variants, gonf ... Read »


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    • Heraldic visitation

    • Heraldic visitations were tours of inspection undertaken by Kings of Arms (and more often by junior officers of arms (or Heralds) as deputies) throughout England, Wales and Ireland. Their purpose was to regulate and register the coats of arms of nobility and gentry and boroughs, and to record pedigrees. They took place ... Read »


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    • Impalement (heraldry)

    • In heraldry, impalement is a form of heraldic combination or marshalling of two coats of arms side by side in one divided heraldic shield or escutcheon to denote a union, most often that of a husband and wife (and in certain cases, same-sex married couples), but also for unions of ecclesiastical, academic/civic and mys ... Read »


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    • International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences

    • The International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences is a biennial conference discussing topics of heraldic and genealogical interest. The Congress brings together scholars and other interested persons from all the nations of Europe and from many countries around the world. The first Congress was held in Ba ... Read »


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    • Jousting

    • Jousting is a martial game or hastilude between two horsemen wielding lances with blunted tips, often as part of a tournament. The primary aim was to replicate a clash of heavy cavalry, with each opponent endeavoring to strike the opponent while riding towards him at high speed, if possible breaking the lance on the op ... Read »


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    • Kingsmantle (Holland)

    • A Kingsmantle (German language: Krönungsmantel; Dutch language: Koningsmantel; French language: manteau du couronnement) is a coronation mantle for the king or queen. Many princes also had a coronation mantle. Sometimes the mantles are worn only once, but it also happened that the king used them for other ceremonie ... Read »


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    • Law of heraldic arms

    • The law of heraldic arms (or laws of heraldry) governs the "bearing of arms", that is, the possession, use or display of arms, also called coats of arms, coat armour or armorial bearings. Although it is believed that the original function of coats of arms was to enable knights to identify each other on the battlefield, ... Read »


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    • Line (heraldry)

    • The lines of partition used to divide and vary fields and charges in heraldry are by default straight, but may have many different shapes. Care must sometimes be taken to distinguish these types of lines from the extremely unusual and non-traditional use of lines as charges, and to distinguish these shapes from actual ... Read »


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    • List of oldest heraldry

    • This list of oldest heraldry aims to include the oldest documented, non-attributed heraldic achievements for individuals, families, locations or institutions. A problem with determining early occurrence of heraldry stems from the fact that many early heraldic charges and compositions emerged in emulation of prior visu ... Read »


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    • Livery collar

    • A livery collar or chain of office is a collar or heavy chain, usually of gold, worn as insignia of office or a mark of fealty or other association in Europe from the Middle Ages onwards. One of the oldest and best-known livery collars is the Collar of Esses, which has been in continuous use in England since the 14th ... Read »


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    • Mantling

    • In heraldry, mantling or lambrequin is drapery tied to the helmet above the shield. It forms a backdrop for the shield. In paper heraldry it is a depiction of the protective cloth covering (often of linen) worn by knights from their helmets to stave off the elements, and, secondarily, to decrease the effects of sword-b ... Read »


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    • Marks of distinction

    • A mark of distinction, in heraldry, is a charge showing that the bearer of a shield is not (as defined by the rules or laws of heraldry in most, though not all, countries and situations) descended by blood from the original bearer. The "mark of distinction" (which is so called as it is supposed to "make distinct" that ... Read »


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    • Mise en abyme

    • Mise en abyme (French pronunciation: ​[miz‿ɑ̃n‿abim]; also mise en abîme) is a French term derived from heraldry, and literally means "placed into abyss". The term has developed a number of particular senses in modern criticism since it was picked up from heraldry by the French author Andrà ... Read »


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    • Modern French shield

    • The shield samnitic, also called Modern French shield, appears in the 16th c. is a shield of rectangular shape whose lower corners are rounded as arcs of a circle with a radius of half module. According to some authors it is normally high 8 modules wide and 7, as the tournament shield, while others report the height 9 ... Read »


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    • Motto

    • A motto (derived from the Latin muttum, 'mutter', by way of Italian motto, 'word', 'sentence') is a maxim, a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of an individual, family, social group or organization. Mottos are usually not expressed verbally, unlike slogans, but are expressed in writ ... Read »


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    • Naval heraldry

    • Naval heraldry is a form of identification used by naval vessels from the end of the 19th century onwards, after distinguishing features such as figureheads and gilding were discouraged or banned by several navies. Naval heraldry commonly takes the form of a badge, seal, crest, or coat of arms designed specifically fo ... Read »


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    • Nebuly

    • In heraldry and architecture, a line which is drawn nebuly (or nebulée) is made up of a series of bulbous protrusions, which are supposed to resemble clouds. The term is derived from the Latin word nebula, "a mist, vapor, or cloud"(OED). A nebuly line meanders in one direction describing the shape of three-quarters ... Read »


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    • Pennon

    • A pennon or pennant is a flag that is larger at the hoist than at the fly. It can have several shapes, such as triangular, tapering or triangular and swallow-tailed. It was one of the principal three varieties of flags carried during the Middle Ages (the other two were the banner and the standard).Pennoncells and stre ... Read »


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    • Quartering (heraldry)

    • Quartering in heraldry is a method of joining several different coats of arms together in one shield by dividing the shield into equal parts and placing different coats of arms in each division. Typically, a quartering consists of a division into four equal parts, two above and two below (party per cross). An example ... Read »


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    • Rebus

    • A rebus (/ˈrē-bəs/) is an allusional device that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words. It was a favourite form of heraldic expression used in the Middle Ages to denote surnames. For example, in its basic form, three salmon (fish) are used to denote the surname "Salmon". A more sophisticated exam ... Read »


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    • Seize Quartiers

    • Seize Quartiers is a French phrase which literally means a person's "sixteen quarters", the coats of arms of their sixteen great-great-grandparents, which are typically accompanied by a five generation genealogy outlining the relationship between them and their descendant. They were used as a proof of nobility ("the pr ... Read »


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    • Shield of the Trinity

    • The Shield of the Trinity or Scutum Fidei (Latin for "shield of faith") is a traditional Christian visual symbol which expresses many aspects of the doctrine of the Trinity, summarizing the first part of the Athanasian Creed in a compact diagram. In late medieval England and France, this emblem was considered to be the ... Read »


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    • Slogan (heraldry)

    • A slogan is used in Scottish heraldry as a heraldic motto or a secondary motto. It usually appears above the crest on a coat of arms, though sometimes it appears as a secondary motto beneath the shield. The word slogan dates from 1513, though it is a variant of the earlier slogorn, which was an Anglicisation of the Sco ... Read »


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    • Socialist heraldry

    • Socialist heraldry, also called communist heraldry, consists of emblems in a style typically adopted by communist states and filled with communist symbolism. Although commonly called coats of arms, most such devices are not actually coats of arms in the traditional heraldic sense and should therefore, in a strict sense ... Read »


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    • Supporter

    • In heraldry, supporters, sometimes referred to as attendants, are figures or objects usually placed on either side of the shield and depicted holding it up. Early forms of supporters are found in medieval seals. However, unlike the coronet or helmet and crest, supporters were not part of early medieval heraldry. As pa ... Read »


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    • Surcoat

    • A surcoat initially was an outer garment commonly worn in the Middle Ages by both men and women. It can either refer to a coat worn over other clothes or the outermost garment itself. The name derives from French meaning "over the coat", a long, loose, often sleeveless coat reaching down to the feet. From about the 12 ... Read »


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    • Tabard

    • A tabard is a short coat common for men during the Middle Ages. Generally used while outdoors, the coat was either sleeveless or had short sleeves or shoulder pieces. In its more developed form it was open at the sides, and it could be worn with or without a belt. Though most were ordinary garments, often workclothes, ... Read »


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    • Tincture (heraldry)

    • Tinctures provide the limited palette of colours and patterns used in heraldry. The use of these tinctures dates back to the formative period of European heraldry, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, but the range of tinctures and the manner of depicting and describing them has evolved over time, as new variations ... Read »


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    • Totem pole

    • Totem poles are monumental sculptures consisting of poles, posts or pillars, carved with symbols or figures. They are usually made from large trees, mostly western red cedar, by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast of North America (northwestern United States and Canada's western province, British Columbia ... Read »


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    • Tournament shield

    • The shield banderese, also known as a tournament shield or square shield, is a shield is of wide rectangular shape 7 modules and high 8. It was the shield of the gentlemen who had the right to take up arms to their vassals, and to lead them to war under their flag. These gentlemen were called knights banderesi (cheval ... Read »


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    • Undifferenced arms

    • Undifferenced arms (or plain arms) are coats of arms which have no marks distinguishing the bearer by birth, order, or family position. In the Scottish and English heraldic traditions, these plain coats of arms are legal property transmitted from father to eldest male heir, and are used only by one person at any given ... Read »


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    • Variation of the field

    • In heraldry, variations of the field are any of a number of ways that a field (or a charge) may be covered with a pattern, rather than a flat tincture or a simple division of the field. Variations of the field of present a particular problem concerning consistent spelling of adjectival endings in English blazons. ... Read »


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    • Vexillology

    • Vexillology is the scientific study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags or, by extension, any interest in flags in general. The word is a synthesis of the Latin word vexillum ("flag") and the Greek suffix -logia ("study.") The constitution of the International Federation of Vexillological Associations (known b ... Read »


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    • White Ensign

    • White Ensign

      The White Ensign, at one time called the St George's Ensign due to the simultaneous existence of a cross-less version of the flag, is an ensign flown on British Royal Navy ships and shore establishments. It consists of a red St George's Cross on a white field with the Union Flag in the upper canton. The White Ensign i ... Read »


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    • Women in heraldry

    • Due to the differing role of women in past society, special rules grew relating to the blazoning of arms for women. In both the English and the Scottish systems of heraldry these differences remain active. In other nations, in Canadian heraldry for example, women may inherit arms on an equal basis with their brothers ( ... Read »


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  • What Else?

    • Heraldry

Extras