Questions tagged [heraldry]

Heraldry is the practice of designing, displaying, describing and recording coats of arms and heraldic badges. Historically, it has been variously described as "the shorthand of history" and "the floral border in the garden of history." The origins of heraldry lie in the need to distinguish participants in combat when their faces were hidden by iron and steel helmets. Eventually a formal system of rules developed into ever more complex forms of heraldry.

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What is this coat of arms?

This is on a chair that has been in my family in Sweden for several generations, but it looks to be of British origin rather than Scandinavian. I am still new to heraldry but the terms martlet, ...
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Can anyone help me identify this Coat of Arms?

Can anyone help me identify this coat of arms? As far as I can identify, there are 2 Lion Rampant regardant. A Pelican in her nest, a crown, a shield with stars. It is on a small galleried tray that I ...
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Could someone help to identify this Japanese mon found on what appears to be a late Edo Period Jingasa?

I am trying to identify the following Japanese mon: My research has hinted that the tortoise-shell shape may be of Shinto influence and that the triune division is a form depiction of the tomoe, but ...
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Has the “lion dormant” ever been used in history?

I was looking at the different attitudes of heraldic lions and wondering if any historical families really used a lion dormant in their coats of arms. House Grandison is of course fine and dandy. But ...
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Under German-Nordic heraldic tradition, can arms pass through the female line?

My understanding of German-Nordic heraldry is that the arms belong to the family name, rather than the person. So with that in mind, let's say the original armiger has a daughter. Is she entitled to ...
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Are there churches that belong to the German Armed Forces?

Yesterday, while walking through Graz, in southern Austria, I noticed an old church. I noticed it because it had a big symbol painted over its entrance door. You might have seen this symbol in WWI and ...
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Help me identity the symbols on this relief?

Could somebody please help me identity the symbols on the relief below? This is a memorial plaque in Vienna. It shows a former city judge and mayor of the town “Gross-Jedlersdorf” (today the 21st ...
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Is this costume plate from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum correctly colored?

I have been spending some time lately going through some old atlases online, and noticed some discrepancies between some images coloration. We have noted on another question that the individual ...
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Are the Swiss flag and the flag/coat of arms of Piedmont related?

Below is a picture of a flag I recently saw in a restaurant, that looked to me like the Swiss flag with a bridge drawn on it: Through image search I discovered this was actually the coat of arms of ...
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What is this consistent symbol in the Spanish coat of arms? [closed]

I have been reading Spanish history today, and have noticed a very distinct commonality in the flags and coat of arms for various periods, but I haven't been able to find precise explanations of the ...
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What is the origin of heraldic buffalo horns?

Büffelhörner or Buffalo Horns are quite common in Scandinavian and German heraldry (called Vesselhorns in Danish), "although virtually unknown in other heraldic traditions", where they usually only ...
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Can anyone find an image of Henry Bolingbroke's Sovereygne Feather Seal?

Henry IV of England used a "remarkable seal" with two tall feathers (around the shield, helm and crest), each entwined with a garter which had his "favorite and significant" motto "SOVEREYGNE" written ...
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How does a heraldic eagle become a nazi symbol?

The Heraldic Eagle, or Reichsadler is still to this day used as the coat of arms of the German empire. Its use in the coat of arms, and on German symbolism generally picture an eagle with curved wings ...
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What does this Swiss banner/blazon/coat of arms/flag stand for?

The blazon can be found on the Basel town hall It depicts two war axes that are crossed. The other flags depict banners of states of Switzerland, the one to the right is Wallis. More pictures of the ...
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Is (or was) there a version of the Maltese Cross with the right arrowhead missing? Does it have a name?

I'm trying to answer a question (link in Spanish) in the Spanish language site about a funny definition a user found in the Royal Spanish Academy's dictionary. It follows: martillo m. Cruz ...
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What is the meaning of the elements of this emblem?

Click for larger version This is a reproduction of an emblem passed down my family. The odd elliptical shape comes from the fact that the original is on a ring used for wax-sealing. We guess that ...
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Was the flag of Iceland originally fimbriated in silver?

The flag of Iceland, shown below, is described blazon as "Azure, a cross gules fimbriated argent", indicating that the fimbriation is silver. Argentum means silver in Latin. Does this mean that ...
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What is the historical significance of the Tryzub to Ukrainian diaspora?

The Tryzub appears on the coat of arms of Ukraine. What is its historic significance to the diaspora? I am aware this is the symbol of the sea god Poseidon of Greek mythology, for this reason I ...
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What is this flag?

The following flag is worn by Princess Isabella when she meets William Wallace. Actress Sophie Marceau as Princess Isabella in Braveheart
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Does a description of the original design for the Great Seal of the United States by Simitiere survive?

The Great Seal of the United States by U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs contains details as to Pierre Eugene du Simitiere's role in designing the Great Seal of the United States ...
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Does the rule of tincture apply within a variation of the field?

I've been trying to come to a clearer/more precise understanding of the rules of heraldry and the resources I've been looking to for information have been vague on a few specifics of the rule of ...
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What do the letters “L” and “G” mean on the coat of arms of the city of Liège?

The coat of arms of Liège consists of a column (called a Perron) with lions at the base. The column is flanked by the letters L and G: What do the letters L and G stand for? My guess is a Latin ...
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What does this Samurai crest mean?

Some years ago I was given something that I believe is called, in Japanese, a jubako. It's a multi-layered box and on the inside of the lid it features this crest: When searching for information on ...
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Knights' coat of arms colors [closed]

Did knights in medieval Europe wear the colors of their own arms, those of the lord they were serving, or some combination? Was this significantly different in different parts of the continent, or ...
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Why is the flag of Prague yellow and red?

Wikipedia's flag for Prague shows red and yellow. I think that the red comes from flag of Bohemia and yellow from flag of Habsburgs, but that is just a hypothesis.
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What do Florence, Genoa, Milan and Venice have in common?

This building, located in Genoa, Italy, displays the emblems of four cities: from left to right Florence, Genoa, Milan, Venice. It is currently an university building, but I don't know how long it ...
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What is the symbolism behind the Sauser family crest from Sigriswil, Switzerland?

I received a letter that included a photo copy of an old b&w photo of this medallion or sign with no explanation of what it is or what it was used. I understand it is something that was ...
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What is the meaning of this samurai crest?

From User Jordan Miles Hamanaka Kaplowit's comment to this question: Meaning of samurai crest / symbol What is the meaning of the sixth crest symbol?
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Why do (almost) all countries have a flag, coat of arms, anthem, national holiday etc.?

A number of official symbols are used by virtually all modern nations. These include: National flag1 Coat of arms National anthem National Day Given that it is often difficult to get even two of the ...
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Does Patonce Cross symbol have any record of use in Hungary?

Hungary introduced new 10000 HUF notes that contain a symbol I couldn't relate to Hungary's history. There were no official notes known to me why they use Patonce Cross on Hungarian notes. And here ...
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What does the eighth samurai crest / symbol in this picture signify?

I would like to ask you all to explain the meaning of the 8-th symbol in this picture*: I would like to also know what are those symbols? Thank you very much. * Source: http://www.samurai-store.com/...
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Whose colors/coat-of-arms did men-of-arms wear in a feudal army, 14th century?

During the feudal age in Europe there were some kind of hierarchy among nobles, for example, a small lord provided military service to a larger lord, which did the same to a yet larger lord, etc. ...
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Why is the color red associated with communism?

The color red is traditionally associated with communism. You can find it in the flags of the Soviet Union and China, and the Red Star is a a common symbol in communist countries. Why is the color red ...
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In British heraldry, what happens when a woman with a coat of arms marries someone without?

I'm aware this isn't very time-specific, and not sure if the right SE, but what happens when a woman who belongs to a noble family and has a coat of arms, marries someone without a coat of arms etc.?
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Tracking down fifteenth century French and Italian coats of arms

I'm trying to track down coats of arms for the following people: Catherine of Taranto Tristan de Clermont But I don't know even where to start. Any ideas, even in general of where to look for ...
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What name is taken if a man marries into a noble house?

In regards to marrying into noble houses, if a noble man marries a noble woman from a different house, I would assume one of two things happens: 1. The woman takes the man's name and the two houses ...
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Why did England consistently adopt red as their primary colour for insignia and uniform?

Throughout the last 1000 years red has become a consistent motif for military clothing and heraldic imagery in England. What are the reasons for this? Are there economic, environmental (eg. dyes used ...
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What does this spear & carpentry square symbol mean?

What does this symbol (placed on the shield being held by an angel figure) mean? Is there any historical explanation for what it represents?
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What was the reason for the Ottoman empire to adopt the crescent moon as its flag/coat of arms?

The Ottoman empire used the crescent moon as its symbol extensively. Any reasons for the symbolism? I have read references to polythesim of Turks contributing to the crescent and star (which predates ...
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Was coat of arms of Afghanistan of 1928 influenced by Soviet symbols?

This is the flag of Afghanistan with a coat of arms as of 1928: As you can see, it includes a wheat wreath, red star and the sun, all elements typical for Soviet-style coats of arms. Yet the state ...
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Why was the bald eagle chosen as the national bird of the United States?

The bald eagle is a grand and beautiful bird of prey that once frequently soared majestically through the skies of the American wilderness. It is also very important in American Indian culture (See: ...
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White on Polish coat of arms

The Polish coat of arms is an eagle on the red field (background): In Poland it is always said that it is a White Eagle. This is mentioned in current Constitution (translated by me): Art. 28. ...
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Why were balls used on the Medici coat of arms?

I've heard they represent the weighted balls used to measure goods, alluding to Florence's history as a commercial city and the Medici family's history as merchants and bankers. I've also heard that ...
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What were the animals on the Coat of Arms of Edward IV of England?

(Asked after reading this answer in SciFi&Fantasy SE): I think that whole Stark (York) and Lanister (Lancaster) feud is reference to War of Roses. Both houses descended from house Plantagenet ...
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Lion in European monarchies' coats of arms

I recently found out that most European monarchies have the same kind of lion in their coats of arms. As you can see, it is a lion with a strange long tongue: Netherlands United Kingdom Prince of ...
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What is the origin of the rampant lion herald?

We often see the image of the rampant lion used as a symbol in heraldry and other places. I understand the significance of the lion, and I am aware that ancient art often incorporated the lion, but ...