Portal:Heraldry

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Welcome to the Heraldry and Vexillogy 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 article

Ireland King of Arms was the title of an Irish officer of arms from 1392 until the accession of Henry VII as King of England in 1485. The office was replaced in 1552 by that of Ulster King of Arms, which in 1943 was merged with Norroy King of Arms forming the present office of Norroy and Ulster King of Arms. In theory, Ireland King of Arms enjoyed heraldic jurisdiction in the whole of the Lordship of Ireland. (more...)

Selected flag

Cubs Win Flag

The Cubs Win Flag is a victory flag that is flown at Wrigley Field after every Chicago Cubs home win. The flag is variously referred to by approximately a dozen names, combining; either Cubs or Chicago Cubs; Win, W, White, White W, or W Win; and flag, banner or banner flag. It has become an important symbol for fans that one retailer describes as a fan banner instead of flag, or banner flag. In addition, days when the win flag is flown are known as "White Flag Days". The tradition of flying a win or loss flag over the stadium began soon after the construction of the scoreboard in 1937.

The flag has used two different color schemes with the letter "W" on a solid background, and there is a loss indicator flag with a letter "L". Additionally, the flags have been complemented by different color schemes of indicator lights. The flag has become a very symbolic emblem for devout Cubs fans. Some retailers sell slightly different versions that also have the Cubs logo at the bottom. (more...)

Selected biography

1835 portrait by Henry Perronet Briggs.

James Robinson Planché (February 27, 1796 – May 30, 1880) was a British dramatist, antiquary and officer of arms. Over a period of almost 60 years he wrote, adapted, or collaborated on 176 plays in a wide range of genres. Planché was responsible for introducing historically accurate costume into nineteenth century British theatre, and subsequently became an acknowledged expert on historical costume, publishing a number of works on the topic.

Planché's interest in historical costume led to other antiquarian research, including heraldry and genealogy. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1829, and was influential in the foundation of the British Archaeological Association in 1843. Appointed Rouge Croix Pursuivant in 1854 and promoted to Somerset Herald in 1866, Planché undertook heraldic and ceremonial duties as a member of the College of Arms including proclaiming peace at the end of the Crimean War and investing foreign monarchs with the Order of the Garter. (more...)

Selected picture

Heralds in procession in 1933

Sir Francis Grant, Lord Lyon King of Arms, HRH The Duke of York, and Rev. Charles Warr proceeding to the Armistice Service at St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh in 1933.

Did you know...

Coat of arms of Toppenstedt

  • ...that the current flag of Bhutan was introduced after it was noticed the previous square version didn't flutter like the flag of India?
  • ...that the Karavas were the only Sri Lankan community traditionally entitled to use flags?

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