Portal:Heraldry

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Welcome to the Heraldry and Vexillology Portal!

A herald wearing a tabard
Flags of the Nordic countries

Heraldry encompasses all of the duties of a herald, including the science and art of designing, displaying, describing and recording coats of arms and badges, as well as the formal ceremonies and laws that regulate the use and inheritance of arms. The origins of heraldry lie in the medieval need to distinguish participants in battles or jousts, whose faces were hidden by steel helmets.

Vexillology (from the Latin vexillum, a flag or banner) is the scholarly study of flags, including the creation and development of a body of knowledge about flags of all types, their forms and functions, and of scientific theories and principles based on that knowledge. Flags were originally used to assist military coordination on the battlefield, and have evolved into a general tool for signalling and identification, particularly identification of countries.

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Selected coat of arms

A crest badge of a clan chief of a fictional Scottish clan. A clan chief is the only one entitled to three eagle feathers.

A Scottish crest badge, more commonly called a clan crest, is a heraldic badge worn to show one's allegiance to a specific Scottish clan. Crest badges may be worn by any member of a clan. Even though it is the most common name, the term clan crest is a misnomer. There is no such thing as a clan crest. Modern crest badges usually consist of the clan chief's personal crest surrounded by a strap and buckle and the chief's motto or slogan. Although "clan crests" are commonly bought and sold, the heraldic crest and motto belong to the chief alone and never the clan member. Crest badges, much like clan tartans, do not have a long history, and owe much to Victorian era romanticism, having only been worn on the bonnet since the 19th century. The original badges used by clans are said to have been specific plants worn in bonnets or hung from a pole or spear. (more...)

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1957 Coat of Arms of Québec with French, English and Canadian elements

Canadian heraldry refers to the cultural tradition and style of coats of arms and other heraldic achievements in modern and historic Canada, including national, provincial, and civic arms, noble and personal arms, ecclesiastical heraldry, heraldic displays as corporate logos, and Canadian heraldic descriptions.

Canadian heraldry derives mainly from heraldic traditions in France and the United Kingdom while adding distinctly Canadian symbols, especially those which reference the First Nations and other aboriginal peoples of Canada. Canadian heraldry has a unique system of cadency for daughters inheriting arms, and a special symbol for United Empire Loyalists. Since 1988, both personal and corporate heraldry in Canada is officially governed by the Canadian Heraldic Authority, which reviews all applications for arms. (more...)

Selected flag

Flag of Armenia

The national flag of Armenia, the Armenian Tricolor, consists of three horizontal bands of equal width, red on the top, blue in the middle, and orange on the bottom. The Armenian Supreme Council adopted the current flag on August 24, 1990. On June 15, 2006, the Law on the National Flag of Armenia was passed by the Armenian Parliament.

Throughout history, there were many variations of the Armenian flag. In ancient times, Armenian Dynasties were represented by different symbolic animals displayed on their flags. In the 20th century, there were several Soviet flags representing Armenian nation. (more...)

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A town hall in the Netherlands displaying heraldic banners

The town hall of Gouda, a city in the Netherlands, displaying heraldic banners of the arms of (left to right) the Dutch Republic (1581–1795), the County of Holland (1198–) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815–).

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