Coat of Arms
In a Coat of Arms
A coat of arms is often as unique as an individual. Bearing symbols of their family or personal experience. Coat of arms is a representation of the Blazon, which is a listing of instructions on how to depict the Emblazon, which is another word for any physical representation of arms.
The elements in all arms are located roughly in the same places. The Crest sits a top the Wreath on top of the Helm. The Shield is just below the helm surrounded by the Mantling issuing from the wreath and sometimes supporters. The compartment is just below the shield and above the motto. On the shield is where the magic happens. There you will find the tinctures, the Charges and all the things that made up the classic heraldry. The badge if included is almost always below entire affair, some where under the motto.
Parts of a coat of Arms
Coat of Arms in History
In the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland an individual, rather than a family, had a coat of arms. In those traditions coats of arms are legal property transmitted from father to son, and are used only by one person at any given time. Other descendants of the original bearer could bear the ancestral arms only with some difference: usually a color change or the addition of a distinguishing charge. One such charge is the label, which in British usage (outside the royal family) is now always the mark of an heir-apparent.
Because of their importance in identification, particularly in seals on legal documents, the use of arms was strictly regulated; few countries continue in this today. This has been carried out by heralds and the study of coats of arms is therefore called "heraldry." Some other traditions (e.g. Polish) are less restrictive — allowing, for example, all members of a dynastic house or family to use the same arms, although one or more elements may be reserved to the Head of the House.