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Encyclopedia > Coat of Arms

A coat of arms or armorial bearings (often just arms for short), in European tradition, is a design belonging to a particular person (or group of people) and used by them in a wide variety of ways. Unlike seals and emblems, coats of arms have a formal description that is expressed as a blazon. For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... This article is about the authentication means. ... An emblem consists of a pictorial image, abstract or representational, that epitomizes a concept - often a concept of a moral truth or an allegory. ... This is an article about Heraldry. ...

Contents

Traditions and usage

The German Hyghalmen Roll, ca. late 15th century, illustrates the German practice of thematic repetition from the arms in the crest
The German Hyghalmen Roll, ca. late 15th century, illustrates the German practice of thematic repetition from the arms in the crest

In the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland an individual, rather than a family, had a coat of arms. In those traditions coats of arms are legal property transmitted from father to son, and undifferenced arms are used only by one person at any given time. Other descendants of the original bearer could bear the ancestral arms only with some difference: usually a color change or the addition of a distinguishing charge. One such charge is the label, which in British usage (outside the royal family) is now always the mark of an heir-apparent. Shield Field Supporter Crest Wreath Mantling Helm Compartment Charge Motto Coat of arms elements Escutcheon is often the term used in heraldry for the shield displayed in a coat of arms. ... In heraldry the background of the shield is called the field . ... The Coat of Arms of Prince Edward Island uses two foxes as supporters. ... In heraldry, a crest is a component of a coat of arms. ... In heraldry, the torse is a twisted roll of fabric wound around the top of the helm and crest to hold the mantle in place (See mantling). ... In heraldry, mantling is drapery depicted tied to the helmet above the shield. ... A person wearing a helmet. ... In heraldry, a compartment is a design placed under the shield, usually rocks, a grassy mount, or some sort of other landscape upon which the supporters are depicted as standing (a compartment without supporters is possible but practically unknown, with the exception of South Australia[1]). It is sometimes said... In heraldry, a charge is an image occupying the field on an escutcheon (or shield). ... For other uses, see Motto (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (609x731, 237 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Coat of arms Helmet Mantling Compartment Field (heraldry) Charge (heraldry) Torse Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Heraldry and vexillology Template... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (961x1439, 1887 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Heraldry Coat of arms ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (961x1439, 1887 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Heraldry Coat of arms ... Undifferenced arms (or plain arms]] are coats of arms which have no marks distinguishing the bearer by birth order or family position. ... In heraldry, cadency is any systematic way of distinguishing similar coats of arms belonging to members of the same family. ... In heraldry, a charge is an image occupying the field on an escutcheon (or shield). ... A plain label of three points Azure of the Prince of Asturiass Coat of Arms In heraldry, a label is a charge closely resembling the strap with pendants which, from the saddle, crossed the horses chest. ...


Because of their importance in identification, particularly in seals on legal documents, the use of arms was strictly regulated; few countries continue in this today. This has been carried out by heralds and the study of coats of arms is therefore called "heraldry." Some other traditions (e.g. Polish) are less restrictive — allowing, for example, all members of a dynastic house or family to use the same arms, although one or more elements may be reserved to the Head of the House.[citation needed] Heralds, wearing tabards, in procession to St. ...


United Kingdom

In Scotland, the Lord Lyon has criminal jurisdiction to enforce the laws of arms. In England, the use of arms is a matter of civil law. Arms of the Office of the Lord Lyon The Lord Lyon King of Arms, the head of Lyon Court, is the Scottish official with responsibility for regulating heraldry in that kingdom, issuing new grants of arms, and serving as the judge of the oldest Heraldic court in the world that...


Today, the term "coat of arms" or "arms" is frequently applied in two different ways. In some uses, it may indicate a full achievement of arms or heraldic achievement, which includes a variety of elements — usually a crest sitting atop a helmet, itself sitting on a shield; other common elements include supporters holding up the shield and a motto (beneath in England, above in Scotland). Some people wrongly use "coat of arms" or "arms" to refer to the escutcheon (i.e., the shield itself), or to one of several designs that may be combined in one shield. (Note that the crest is one specific part of a heraldic achievement and that "crest of arms" is a misnomer.) The "coat of arms" frequently are adorned with a device - a motto, emblem, or other mark used to distinguish the bearer from others. If a motto is a part of the achievement, it sometimes has some punning allusion to the owner's name. A device differs from a badge or cognizance primarily because it is a personal distinction, and not a badge borne by members of the same house successively. In heraldry, a crest is a component of a coat of arms. ... A person wearing a helmet. ... This article is about the defensive device. ... The Coat of Arms of Prince Edward Island uses two foxes as supporters. ... For other uses, see Motto (disambiguation). ... Shield Field Supporter Crest Wreath Mantling Helm Compartment Charge Motto Coat of arms elements Escutcheon is often the term used in heraldry for the shield displayed in a coat of arms. ... For other uses, see Motto (disambiguation). ... An emblem consists of a pictorial image, abstract or representational, that epitomizes a concept - often a concept of a moral truth or an allegory. ... For other uses, see Badge (disambiguation) NY NJ Port Authority Police Department Badge. ... Cognizance (Lat. ...


Japan

The Japanese equivalents, called kamon (often abbreviated "mon"), are family badges which often date back to the seventh century, and are still actively used in Japan today. Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Heraldry of Japan The chrysanthemum (kiku), seen in gold between the four bursts of this Breast Star of the Order of Chrysanthemum (a medal), is the mon of the Japanese Emperor. ...


Nordic countries

Coat of arms of the city of Vaasa, showing the shield with the Royal House of Wasa emblem, a crown and a Cross of Liberty pendant.
Coat of arms of the city of Vaasa, showing the shield with the Royal House of Wasa emblem, a crown and a Cross of Liberty pendant.

In the Nordic countries, provinces, regions, cities and municipalities have a coat of arms. These are posted to the borders and shown in official documents advertising the area. Image File history File links Vaasan_vaakuna. ... Image File history File links Vaasan_vaakuna. ... Founded 1606 Province Western Finland Region Ostrobothnia Sub-region Vaasa Area - Of which land - Rank 397 km² 183 km² ranked 345th Population - Density - Rank 57,266 (2005) 311. ... Wasa may refer to any of the following: House of Vasa, the Royal House of Sweden (1523-1654) and of Poland (1587-1668) The city of Vaasa, Finlands elderly (and Latin) name is Wasa. ... The Cross of Liberty is often used in the memorials of the fallen. ... Political map of the Nordic countries and associated territories. ...


Other European countries

At a national level, "coats of arms" were generally retained by European states with constitutional continuity of more than a few centuries, including constitutional monarchies like Denmark as well as old republics like San Marino and Switzerland. Since 1989, some of the ex-Communist states, such as Romania, have resumed their former arms, often with only the symbols of monarchy removed.


USA

The Great Seal of the United States is often said to be the coat of arms of the United States of America. Although the seal contains some armorial elements, it was not designed to be used as a coat of arms and does not fully conform with European heraldic traditions. However, the main point of contention in this dispute is a matter of wording; the blazon is intentionally improper to preserve the number 13 in the symbolism. Nevertheless, the design of the Great Seal of the United States owes more to Roman civil government seals than to medieval European heraldry. The U.S. state of Vermont, founded as the Vermont Republic, follows the American convention of assigning use of a seal for authenticating official state documents, but also has the coat of arms of Vermont. It is the only U.S. state to have authentic armorial bearings described in a blazon. Obverse The Great Seal of the United States is used to authenticate certain documents issued by the United States government. ... Heraldry in its most general sense encompasses all matters relating to the duties and responsibilities of officers of arms. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Flag of Vermont Republic The Vermont Republic was an independent republic that existed from 1777 until it became the state of Vermont—the 14th state of the United States of America—in 1791. ... The Coat of arms of Vermont was first used in 1821. ... This is an article about Heraldry. ...


Other non-European countries

However, today, nearly every nation in every part of the world has its own coat of arms, in many cases emblems that do not fully conform with European heraldric traditions. Such coats of arms often combine a European form with indigenous emblems. For example the coat of arms of Kenya features a shield in the shape of shields traditionally used by the Maasai, and a motto in Swahili. Coat of Arms of Kenya The coat of arms of Kenya features two lions holding Maasai spears and a shield. ... Swahili (also called Kiswahili; see Kiswahili for a discussion of the nomenclature) is an agglutinative Bantu language widely spoken in East Africa. ...


Flags and banners

Note that not all personal or corporate insignia are heraldic, though they may share many features. For example, flags are used to identify ships (where they are called ensigns), embassies and such, and they use the same colors and designs found in heraldry, but they are not usually considered to be heraldic. A country may have both a national flag and a national coat of arms, and the two may not look alike at all. For example, the flag of Scotland (St Andrew's Cross) has a white saltire on a blue field, but the royal arms of Scotland has a red lion within a double tressure on a gold field. For other uses, see Flag (disambiguation). ... Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy. ... The Saltire, the flag of Scotland, a white saltire with an official Pantone 300 coloured field. ... The arms of St Albans: Azure, a saltire Or (a gold saltire on a blue field) For The Saltire (proper noun) see Flag of Scotland. ... In heraldry the background of the shield is called the field . ... The Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland, as used before 1603 The Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland was the official coat of arms of the monarchs of Scotland, and were used as the official coat of arms of the Kingdom of Scotland until the Union of the Crowns in...


Gallery

This gallery of sovereign state coats of arms shows the coat of arms of sovereign states in the list of sovereign states. ...

See also

Burgher arms are coats of arms of commoners (i. ... Baron and Feme, in English law, is a phrase used for husband and wife, in relation to each other, who are accounted as one person. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Coats of arms
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Elements of Coat of arms
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Coat of arms
  • Heraldry in the SCA
  • Modar's Heraldry
  • A fairly recent (1995) English private coat of arms and letters patent/blazon
  • Design a Coat of Arms. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved on 2007-06-08.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Family Crest and Coat of Arms: Parts of a Coat of Arms (1097 words)
The oldest documented example of a coat of arms borne on a shield is where King Henry I of England is said to have bestowed on his son-in-law, Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, in 1127 A.D.: the azure shield bore four gold lions rampant.
Regardless of their origins, coats of arms became military status symbols, and their popularity increased along with the popularity of the tournament, which was developed in the mid-eleventh century in France (reportedly by Godfrey de Preuilly).
By 1400 A.D., bearing a coat of arms had become a prerequisite to participation in a tournament, and due to the importance of social standing in such pageants, a coat of arms also became a mark of noble status.
Coat of arms - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (845 words)
A coat of arms or armorial bearings (often just arms for short) is, in European tradition, a design belonging to a particular person (or group of people) and used by him or her in a wide variety of ways.
Coats of arms have their origins in the designs used by medieval knights to make their armour and shield stand out in battle or tournaments and enable quick recognition by allies or spectators.
In those traditions, coats of arms were passed from father to son as legal property, and were not used by more than a single individual at the same time (other than the eldest son and his eldest son both of whom would differentiate with a label).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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