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 biography

Painting of Garter Anstis from around 1725

John Anstis (29 August 1669–4 March 1744) was an English officer of arms and antiquarian. He rose to the highest heraldic office in England and became Garter King of Arms in 1718 after years of plotting. Anstis was born at St Neot, Cornwall on 29 August 1669. He was the first son of another John Anstis and his wife Mary, the daughter of George Smith. Anstis matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, on 27 March 1685 and entered the Middle Temple on 31 January 1690. On 23 June 1695 he married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Richard Cudlipp of Tavistock, Devon. They had eight sons and six daughters. (more...)

Selected flag

Flag of Canada

The National Flag of Canada, also known as the Maple Leaf, and l'Unifolié (French for "the one-leafed"), is a red flag with a white square in its centre, featuring a stylized 11-pointed red maple leaf. Its adoption in 1965 marked the first time a national flag had been officially adopted to replace the Union Flag. The Canadian Red Ensign had been unofficially used since the 1890s and was approved by a 1945 Order-in-Council for use "wherever place or occasion may make it desirable to fly a distinctive Canadian flag". In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson appointed a committee to resolve the issue, sparking a serious debate about a flag change. Out of three choices, the maple leaf design by George F. G. Stanley was chosen. The flag made its first appearance on February 15, 1965; the date is now celebrated annually as Flag Day. Other flags have been created for use by Canadian officials, government bodies, and military forces. (more...)

Selected coat of arms

Coat of arms of Singapore

The coat of arms of Singapore is the heraldic symbol representing the Southeast Asian island nation of Singapore. It was adopted in 1959, the year Singapore became self-governing within the British Empire. At the centre of the emblem is a red shield bearing a white crescent (a new moon, representing a rising young nation) and five white stars (representing various national ideals including multiculturalism). While the use of the coat of arms is restricted to the government, the symbol enjoys wide use on the national currency and state decorations, and appears on the cover of the national passport.(more...)

Selected picture

Arms of Albrecht Dürer

The coat of arms of Albrecht Dürer are canting arms, and a well known example of German burgher arms.

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Coat of arms of the Guardia di Finanza

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