Welcome to the Heraldry and Vexillogy Portal!
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.
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...)
The coat of arms of Germany displays a black eagle (the Bundesadler "Federal Eagle", formerly Reichsadler "Imperial Eagle") on a yellow shield (Or, an eagle displayed sable). The current official design is due to Tobias Schwab (1887–1967) and was introduced in 1928. It is a re-introduction of the coat of arms of the Weimar Republic (in use 1919–1935) adopted by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1950. The Weimar Republic had re-introduced the medieval coat of arms of the Holy Roman Emperors, in use during the 13th and 14th centuries, before Sigismund of Luxemburg adopted the double-headed eagle beginning in 1433. The single-headed Imperial Eagle (on a white background, Argent, an eagle displayed sable) had also been used by the German Empire during 1889–1918, based on the earlier coat of arms of Prussia. (more...)
The colors of the national flag of Romania (Romanian: Drapelul României) have a long history. Red, yellow and blue were found on late 16th-century royal grants of Michael the Brave, as well as shields and banners. During the Wallachian uprising of 1821, they were present on the canvas of the revolutionaries' flag and its fringes; for the first time a meaning was attributed to them: "Liberty (sky-blue), Justice (field yellow), Fraternity (blood red)". Article 124 of the 1866 Constitution of Romania provided that “the colors of the United Principalities will be Blue, Yellow and Red”. The order and placement of the colors were decided by the Assembly of Deputies in its session of 26 March 1867. Thus, following a proposal by Nicolae Golescu, they were placed just as in 1848.
On 30 December 1947, Romania was proclaimed a people’s republic and all the kingdom’s symbols were outlawed, including the coats of arms and the tricolor flags that showed them. According to article 101 of the 1948 Constitution, “The flag of the Romanian People’s Republic is composed of the colors: blue, yellow and red, arranged vertically. In the middle is placed the national coat of arms”. (more...)