58

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) Gules (red) Purpure (purple) Sable (black) Vert (green) and 2 metals: Or (yellow) Argent (white) In classic medieval sculpting artworks depicting heraldry (like ...


34

Although I can't answer for heraldry, there were a number of factors that influenced the red colour of English, then British military uniforms. During the 16th to early 20th centuries, primary colours and red especially helped to blur soldiers together, so that the enemy from a distance found it difficult to distinguish numbers and individuals accurately. ...


32

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 side (her right) represent the arms of her husband, Edward II (the coat of arms of England) and on the sinister side (her left) those of her family (the coat of ...


23

Modern practice is this, according to An Heraldic Alphabet (p. 231, 1996 edition) by former Clarenceux King of Arms, J.P. Brooke-Little: (edited to add -- this was a new addition to the 1996 edition, mentioned as a change in the heraldic laws.) "...If a woman entitled to arms marries a man who does not have arms, she may continue to use her maiden arms,...


18

As has been noted, the eagle became the national bird because it was chosen to be on the Great Seal, designed by Charles Thomson. The idea did not emerge out of thin air, however; the eagle is a very popular emblem with a very long history in heraldry. Two of the three committees designing the seal included the eagle in some form. Thus, Thomson would have ...


17

That crest is called a marunikatabami (丸に片喰 or 丸に酢漿草). The design is an encircled creeping woodsorrel flower. As such it is considered a variation of the more primary, and popular, katabami (片喰) crest, which is the same minus the circular border. The creeping woodsorrel grows extremely well as a wild weed; it is known for being difficult to uproot once it ...


14

The square and spear are emblems of St. Thomas, the Apostle, aka Doubting Thomas. He was well known as a builder in his lifetime, though I have my doubts that he participated in all the constructions listed on the site linked to above. This explains the builder's square in the emblem. St. Thomas was stabbed to death by the spear represented in the emblem, ...


14

European monarchies are extremely intertwined, all European dynasties are related to each other, it's not surprising that they use very similar symbols. For example, take a look at the family tree of the German monarchs: Looking at that royal mess, and considering the hereditary nature of heraldry, I think it's quite obvious how we ended up with only two ...


13

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 form of traditional descriptive language. While it's true that: The word for white in Latin is "albus", not argentum. Argentum means silver. In heraldry ...


12

So your fantasy is about about a common man obtaining a title by marrying into a noble family? To my best knowledge the chances of this happening are slim. What is more likely is that the woman (or at least her children) will lose her title. As cases in points in recent history, consider Alfonso Díez Carabantes (the third husband of the Duchess of Alba and ...


12

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: This seems to match the description that you mentioned on p 242 of Charles Boutell's English Heraldry "... a very remarkable Seal, used by HENRY IV. a short ...


11

According to Niall Ferguson in The Ascent of Money, they aren't balls, but coins. (I listened to the audiobook so I can't provide a page citation.) I'm somewhat suspicious because the blazon for the arms is "augmented coat of arms of the Medici, Or, five balls in orle gules, in chief a larger one of the arms of France (viz. Azure, three fleurs-de-lis or" ...


11

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 intrinsically subjective statement. There were several major players, and it is difficult to quantify something as nebulous as "importance". Nontheless this particular ...


11

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 verbannt (in German): Auf der ursprünglichen Fassade waren nur 11 Wappen abgebildet, also die achte alten Orte, ergänzt durch Freiburg und Solothurn, dazu ...


10

I am only guessing, but I would imagine that part of the popularity of the attitude of lions rampant (so once you allow for the relatively obvious reasons for choosing a lion as opposed to some other animal) might just be that it fits a shield or the breastpiece of a tabard nicely. All the other attitudes (except salient, maybe) are less optimised to the ...


10

They are two lions argent supporting the Royal Arms which also sports a lion. That said, Edward IV's list of approved badges includes a Wolf argent (of Mortimer). His grandmother was Anne de Mortimer.


10

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 descended from Soga no Umako, a powerful minister in Ancient Japan whose descendants were later exiled from the capital after a power dispute in the royal court....


9

In short, it's a Christian symbol loaded with meaning, and the symbol of the Lion representing royalty [goes back even further than that.] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_(heraldry)#Long_history_of_lion_imagery) 1) It's representative of God, indicating that God is King, and also emblematic of heavenly favor for the monarchy. 2) The lion was considered ...


9

They don't all seem to be the same lion. Spain and Denmark's lions aren't even yellow. This is another rendering of the Coat of Arms of Sweden: Compare it with the Coat of Arms of the Netherlands. Notice the similarities between the lions. Much of the similarities between these different lions could be because the same artist drew them. By this, I do not ...


9

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 styles of crests. These crests features an underlying design derived from the leaf of a Daimyo Oak tree. In Winter, dead leafs of a Quercus dentata tree do not ...


8

There have been a number of great answers, but I would add one other reason. The Patron Saint of England is St George, whose colours are a red cross on a white background (still the flag of England today). What better colours to wear into battle than those of your patron saint who fought a dragon and won!?


8

First, I am assuming that you are giving your fantasy world a "Western European" flavour. Working from this assumption there are still a myriad details that vary from nation to nation within Western Europe, but in general the two houses are allied, but the offspring only marshall the coat of arms; the husband and wife are each only entitled to their own arms....


8

During the preparation of the royal wedding between The Royal Heiress to the Swedish throne and a commoner, people talked about heraldry and the possibility that a new royal house will emerge. But this changed when The Royal Household afirmed that the commener Westling will change and add his surname into The Royal Family name.


7

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 hillocks), on a blue blackground. The crossed-seven-esque sign in gold appears to be a hausmarke. The trefoils are a symbol for perpetuity. As a side note, green ...


6

In one unusual circumstance, when the Count von Bohlen married Bertha Krupp (of the Krupp arms house), the man (von Bohlen) was asked by the Kaiser to add his wife's surname, Krupp, to his own. They became the Krupp von Bohlens. This was true, even though as a member of the nobility, von Bohlen technically outranked his (commoner) wife. But the name "...


6

Red dye was cheap at the time the decision was made. No seriously they had decided they needed a uniform colour for the army and Red was just cheaper at the time. see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_coat_(British_army) "The adoption and continuing use of red by most British/English soldiers after the Restoration (1660) was the result of circumstances rather than ...


6

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 from a plain Latin cross to the 'modern' design. Obsidionis Rhodie Urbis Descriptio, Bibliotheque Nationale, Ms. Lat. 6067, f37v, Paris, France. While there ...


6

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 of arms of Switzerland and Piedmont are certainly visually related. The question of whether they are historically related is complex and has no certain answer. ...


5

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- which was tanned in a rusty, orangy-red colour- prior to this english regiments were uniformed in whatever colour the Lord who raised them decided. The only ...


5

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 noble Poles and Russians [Lexicon Tetraglotton (1660)]. In 1705, Augustus, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, revived the order. From 1705, many important ...


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