Portal:Heraldry

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Heraldry and Vexillology portal

The German Hyghalmen Roll was made in the late 15th century and illustrates the German practice of repeating themes from the arms in the crest. (See Roll of arms).

Heraldry (/ˈhɛrəldri/) is a broad term, encompassing the design, display, and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, rank, and pedigree. Armory, the best-known branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmission of the heraldic achievement, more commonly known as the coat of arms. The coat of arms usually includes a shield, helmet, and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, badges, heraldic banners, and mottoes.

Although the use of various devices to signify individuals and groups goes back to antiquity, both the form and use of such devices varied widely, and the concept of regular, hereditary designs, constituting the distinguishing feature of heraldry, did not develop until the High Middle Ages. The use of helmets with face guards during this period made it difficult to recognize one's commanders in the field when large armies gathered together for extended periods, necessitating the development of heraldry as a symbolic language. Read more...

Vexillology (/ˌvɛksɪˈlɒləi/) is the study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags or, by extension, any interest in flags in general. The word is a synthesis of the Latin word vexillum ("flag") and the Greek suffix -logia ("study").

A person who studies flags is a vexillologist, one who designs flags is a vexillographer, and the art of flag-designing is called vexillography. One who is a hobbyist or general admirer of flags is a vexillophile. Read more...


Selected biography

Emilio Aguinaldo

Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy (March 22, 1869 – February 6, 1964) was a Filipino general, politician, and independence leader. He played an instrumental role in Philippine independence during the Philippine Revolution against Spain and the Philippine–American War that resisted American occupation. He designed the flag of the Philippines. (more...)

Selected flag

The flag of Japan

The national flag of Japan is a white flag with a large red disc (representing the rising sun) in the center. The flag's official name in Japanese is Nisshōki (日章旗, "sun flag") but the flag is more commonly known as Hinomaru (日の丸, "sun disc"). The Hinomaru was widely used on military banners in the Sengoku (Warring States) period of the 15th and 16th centuries. During the Meiji Restoration the flag was officially adopted for use as the civil ensign by Proclamation No. 57 on February 27, 1870 (January 27, Meiji 3 in the Japanese calendar). However, the flag was not adopted nationally until August 13, 1999, by the Law Regarding the National Flag and National Anthem.

Along with the national anthem Kimi ga Yo, the Hinomaru is considered a controversial symbol of the militaristic past of the country. Use of the Hinomaru was also severely restricted during the early years of the American occupation of the country after World War II, although restrictions were later relaxed. Japanese law did not designate any particular flag as the national flag from 1885 until 1999, although the Hinomaru was legally the national flag for the brief period from 1870 until 1885. Despite this, several military banners of Japan are based on the design of the Hinomaru, including the sun-rayed Naval Ensign. The Hinomaru was used as a template to design other Japanese flags for public and private use. (more...)

Selected coat of arms

Coat of Arms of the Basque Country

The current Coat of arms of the Basque Country is the official coat of arms of the Basque Country, Autonomous community of Spain. It consists of a party per cross representing the three historical territories of Álava, Guipuscoa and Biscay, as well as a fourth, void quarter. The arms are ringed by a regal wreath of oak leaves, symbolic of the Gernikako Arbola. The fourth quarter once constituted the linked chains of Navarre; however, following a legal suit by the Navarre Government claiming that the usage of the arms of a region on the flag of another was illegal, the Constitutional Court of Spain bound to remove the chains of Navarre in a judgment of 1986. (more...)

Selected image

A town hall in Flanders displaying heraldic banners

The town hall of Dendermonde, a city in Flanders, displaying heraldic banners.

Did you know...

Manuel Belgrano holding the Flag of Argentina

  • ...that the Alphyn, a rare heraldic creature, was the badge of the Barons de La Warr?

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