57 votes

Was the flag of Iceland originally fimbriated in silver?

Silver means white. The art and science of classic European flag design is called "Heraldry". Classic heraldry refers to color as "Tincture". Tinctures are separated into 5 colors: Azure (blue) ...
  • 1,131
32 votes

What is this flag?

Technically, it's not a flag it's a surcoat. It represents the coats of arms of her family. In heraldic terms, the display of these arms are known as impalement. In this case, the arms on the dexter ...
  • 4,697
18 votes

What do Florence, Genoa, Milan and Venice have in common?

Florence, Milan, Venice, and Genoa were the most important city-states of Renaissance Italy. This distinction is the chief attribute shared by these four cities. Of course, that's a bit of an ...
  • 96.3k
13 votes

Was the flag of Iceland originally fimbriated in silver?

No. The Icelandic flag never had any actual silver colour in it and was never meant to contain any silver. In the quote argent is meant to convey just white. It is used in an outdated and imprecise ...
  • 78.5k
13 votes

In the coat of arms of Georg von Frundsberg, where does the ostrich come from?

The arrangement of separate coats of arms on a single shield or other field is called marshalling in English heraldry. It is common to display the coats of arms of a married couple by dividing the ...
  • 17.6k
12 votes
Accepted

What does this Swiss banner/blazon/coat of arms/flag stand for?

That's Biel / Bienne, see its coat of arms: By Aliman5040 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link Swiss historian Markus Kutter confirms it in Zwischen Jura, Vogesen und Schwarzwald, 32. Hinter die Fassade ...
12 votes
Accepted

Can anyone find an image of Henry Bolingbroke's Sovereygne Feather Seal?

The Erenow site has an image of the seal on it's page titled The Fears of Henry IV, although it isn't particularly high resolution, and doesn't provide further details for the source of the image: ...
  • 76.4k
11 votes

What does this Samurai crest mean?

This is the mitsuwari-ken-hanabishi (三つ割り剣花菱) crest, a rather obscure design used by the Aki Clan (安芸氏) of (surprise, surprise) Aki Dstrict in the Tosa Province of Shikoku. The Aki Clan is said to be ...
  • 96.3k
11 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of this samurai crest?

That appears to be a maru-ni-mitsu-kashiwa (丸に三つ柏) crest, also known as a maru-ni-makino-kashiwa (丸に牧野柏). It is an encircled, three-leafed version of the kashiwa crest designs, one of the Big Ten ...
  • 96.3k
10 votes
Accepted

Is this costume plate from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum correctly colored?

As far as I call tell, unless the spiritual electors wore their clerical vestaments, and they do not in those images, their elector's robes and those of the secular electors should have been the same ...
  • 17.6k
9 votes

How does a heraldic eagle become a nazi symbol?

Simply by using (or abusing) it. An heraldic eagle (or any other heraldic symbol) on its own is neutral. Remember the 3 powers of advertising: repeat, repeat and repeat. I live in Thailand were the ...
  • 17.9k
8 votes

How does a heraldic eagle become a nazi symbol?

However, no apparent sign appeared to me to link this type of symbolism directly to nazism (especially since it wasn't known if the eagle was carrying any swastika). Well, the eagle as displayed the ...
  • 4,151
8 votes
Accepted

Are the Swiss flag and the flag/coat of arms of Piedmont related?

Short Answer: The Swiss and Piedmontese coats of arms and flags might both possibly, repeat possibly, have originated as symbols of loyalty to the Holy Roman Empire. Long answer: Flags and coats ...
  • 17.6k
8 votes

Are there churches that belong to the German Armed Forces?

Short Asnwer: In my opinion, it is probable that you saw the Leechkirche on Rittergasse with a Teutonic Knights cross painted on the doors, instead of a garrison church of a hypothetical German army ...
  • 17.6k
7 votes
Accepted

What is the symbolism behind the Sauser family crest from Sigriswil, Switzerland?

It does appear to be the Sauser family crest. Here are some colour versions: As you can see, the design consists of two trefoils (i.e. clovers), growing from a trimount (i.e. a mount of three ...
  • 96.3k
7 votes

Could someone help to identify this Japanese mon found on what appears to be a late Edo Period Jingasa?

That is a bishi (菱, lit. "rhombus") mon, specifically, a maru-ni mitsu bishi (丸に三つ菱, lit. "circle with three rhombuses"). (Left: mitsu bishi mon | Right: maru-ni mitsu bishi mon ...
  • 96.3k
7 votes
Accepted

What have warriors that would typically bear a coat of arms done to their heraldic achievements to indicate they have deserted or defected?

Warriors didn't change their coats of arms, if any, when they changed their allegiance. Coats of arms were considered to be hereditary rights. You should read about the famous case of Scrope v ...
  • 17.6k
6 votes

What does the eighth samurai crest / symbol in this picture signify?

These devices are calls Mons in Japanese languages and they are essential elements of Japanese heraldry. Mons are Japanese arms used to decorate and identify an individual or family. Since a Mon is ...
  • 849
6 votes

Is (or was) there a version of the Maltese Cross with the right arrowhead missing? Does it have a name?

This order is quite old and previously called Hospitaller. The earlier designs were much simpler crosses and not really "arrow-like". The design is quite varied over the medieval period and ranged ...
  • 78.5k
5 votes
Accepted

White on Polish coat of arms

The Order of the White Eagle was ordained by King Władysław (Vladistas) in 1325, instituted on the occasion of his son Casimir's marriage. Ensign: a white eagle, crowned. To this order belonged both ...
  • 37.4k
5 votes

Why did England consistently adopt red as their primary colour for insignia and uniform?

Actuallly it goes back to the English Civil War, and Cromwell's raising of the 'New Model Army'- This was the first british army to be given a formal uniform, one piece of which was a leather jerkin- ...
  • 51
5 votes
Accepted

Does the rule of tincture apply within a variation of the field?

I couldn't remember whether I knew of any barry or paley fields with color beside color or metal beside metal. The first place I looked was Wikipedia. The most basic rule of heraldic design is the ...
  • 17.6k
5 votes

What is this flag?

As killing time says in his answer, Princess Isabella (called "The She Wolf of France" by historians centuries later) is wearing a surcoat with the coats of arms of her husband Prince Edward of Wales ...
  • 17.6k
5 votes
Accepted

What is the historical significance of the Tryzub to Ukrainian diaspora?

The oldest antecedent on Wikipedia is Sviatoslav's. It doesn't much resemble a trident. Vladimir the Great added the middle element, according to the list of historical coats of arms: About the ...
  • 27.3k
5 votes
Accepted

Under German-Nordic heraldic tradition, can arms pass through the female line?

Heraldry was invented sometime in the 12th century (1101-1200) and rapidly spread among the high nobility and also upwards to royalty and downwards to lower nobles, knights, farmers, merchants, ...
  • 17.6k
4 votes

Why do (almost) all countries have a flag, coat of arms, anthem, national holiday etc.?

To be pedantic, and to repeat some of what's already been said in comments ... there isn't, in fact, absolute uniformity in the way those national symbols have been constituted around the world. The ...
  • 11.6k
4 votes

What do Florence, Genoa, Milan and Venice have in common?

This question seems to be based on a bit shaky grounds in terms of presentation. That would make answering the title question more than tricky. Without required updates within the question as asked, ...
  • 78.5k
4 votes

What do Florence, Genoa, Milan and Venice have in common?

These four "city" states were the closest things that northern Italy had to "national" states during the Middle Ages. For instance, Genoa at one time controlled Sardinia and Corsica, as well as a ...
  • 103k
4 votes
Accepted

What do the letters "L" and "G" mean on the coat of arms of the city of Liège?

The official site of the city of Liège states that The letters L and G on the coat-of-arms correspond to the Latin expression "Libertas Gentis", which means "Freedom to the People". Interestingly, ...
  • 2,246

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