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.
The emblem of Italy (Italian: emblema della Repubblica italiana) was adopted by the newly formed Italian Republic on 5 May 1948. Although often referred to as a coat of arms (or stemma in Italian), it is technically an emblem as it was not designed to conform to traditional heraldic rules. The emblem comprises a white five-pointed star, with a fine red border, superimposed upon a five-spoked cogwheel, standing between an olive branch to the dexter side and an oak branch to the sinister side; the branches are in turn bound together by a red ribbon with the inscription REPVBBLICA ITALIANA. The emblem is used extensively by the Italian government. The armorial bearings of the House of Savoy, blazoned gules a cross argent, were previously in use by the late Kingdom of Italy; the supporters, on either side a lion rampant Or, were replaced with fasci littori (literally bundles of the lictors) during the fascist era. (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...)