Portal:Heraldry

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Welcome to the Heraldry and Vexillology Portal!

Flags of the Nordic countries
A herald wearing a tabard

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.

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.

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Selected biography

RossBetsy.jpg

Betsy Ross (January 1, 1752 - January 30, 1836) was an American woman who is said to have sewn the first American flag which incorporated stars representing the states of the Union. Born Elizabeth ("Betsy") Griscom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she was the ninth of 17 children of Samuel and Rebecca Griscom, who were members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) (her father was a master builder). She attended Friends (Quaker) schools, where she learned reading, writing, homemaking, and sewing. (more...)

Selected flag

The original Eureka Flag

The Eureka Flag is a design which features: a dark blue field 260 x 400 cm (2:3.08 ratio); a horizontal stripe 37 cm wide and a vertical line crossing it of 36 cm wide; and 5 eight pointed stars, the central star being 65 cm tall (point to point) and the other stars 60 cm tall, representing the Crux Australis constellation. The design was first used for the war flag of the Eureka Rebellion of 1854 at Ballarat in Victoria, Australia.

The flag design has gained wider notability due to its adoption in Australian culture as a symbol of democracy, protest and other causes. It is listed as an object of state heritage significance on the Victorian Heritage Register and was named as a Victorian Icon by the National Trust in 2006. (more...)

Selected coat of arms

Seal of Dartmouth College

The Seal of Dartmouth College is the official insignia of Dartmouth College, an Ivy League university located in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. Anglo-American law generally requires a corporate body to seek official government sanction, usually in the form of a charter, in order to operate. Such chartered bodies normally authenticate their official acts by marking them with a distinctive seal. The seal's design is usually complicated to avoid counterfeiting, but it can also express something about the institution's history or mission. Dartmouth College is one such chartered body, and it obtained its official seal in 1773. (more...)

Selected picture

Blue and white banner of Zürich

The blue and white banner of Zürich was depicted in a 1585 painting by Humbert Mareschet. The red Schwenkel on top of the banner is typical of German heraldry.

Did you know...

Coat of arms of Schleswig-Holstein

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