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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State emblem of Pakistan

Pakistan has several official national symbols including a historic document, a flag, an emblem, an anthem, a memorial tower as well as several national heroes. The symbols were adopted at various stages in the existence of Pakistan and there are various rules and regulations governing their definition or use. The oldest symbol is the Lahore Resolution, adopted by the All India Muslim League on 23 March 1940, and which presented the official demand for the creation of a separate country for the Muslims of India. The Minar-e-Pakistan memorial tower which was built in 1968 on the site where the Lahore Resolution was passed. The national flag of Pakistan was adopted just before independence was achieved on 14 August 1947. The national anthem (Qaumi Tarana) and the state emblem of Pakistan were each adopted in 1954. There are also several other symbols including the national animal, bird, flower and tree. (more...)

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Example of arms attributed to Jesus from the 15th-century Hyghalmen Roll, based on the instruments of the Passion

Attributed arms are coats of arms given to legendary figures, or to notable persons from times before the rise of heraldry. Beginning in the 12th century, imaginary arms were assigned to the knights of the Round Table, and soon arms were given to biblical figures, to Roman and Greek heroes, and to kings and popes who had not historically borne arms. The specific arms could vary, but the arms for major figures soon became fixed.

Notable arms attributed to biblical figures include the arms of Jesus based on the instruments of the Passion, and the shield of the Trinity. Medieval literature attributed coats of arms to the Nine Worthies, including Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and King Arthur. Arms were given to many kings predating heraldry, including Edward the Confessor and William I of England. These attributed arms were sometimes used in practice as quarterings in the arms of their descendants. (more...)

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Flag of Germany

The flag of Germany is a tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal bands displaying the national colours of Germany: black, red and gold. The black-red-gold tricolour first appeared in the early 19th century and achieved prominence during the 1848 revolution. The short-lived Frankfurt Parliament of 1848–50 proposed the tricolour as a flag for a united and democratic German state. With the formation of the Weimar Republic after World War I, the tricolour was adopted as the national flag of Germany. Following World War II, the tricolour was designated as the flag of both West and East Germany. Both flags were identical until 1959, when socialist symbols were added to the East German flag. Since reunification on 3 October 1990, the black-red-gold tricolour has remained the flag of Germany. (more...)

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The 719 quarterings of the Grenville Diptych

The Grenville Diptych was produced between 1822 and 1839 for Richard Temple-Grenville, Marquess of Chandos the son of the first Duke of Buckingham and Chandos. It shows 719 quarterings of the family, including ten variations of the English Royal arms. The left panel of the diptych lists the quarterings.

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