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 coat of arms

Seal of Dartmouth College

The Seal of Dartmouth College is the official insignia of Dartmouth College, an Ivy League university located in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. Anglo-American law generally requires a corporate body to seek official government sanction, usually in the form of a charter, in order to operate. Such chartered bodies normally authenticate their official acts by marking them with a distinctive seal. The seal's design is usually complicated to avoid counterfeiting, but it can also express something about the institution's history or mission. Dartmouth College is one such chartered body, and it obtained its official seal in 1773. (more...)

Selected flag

The flag of Hong Kong

The flag of Hong Kong, or the Regional Flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, features a stylised, white, five-petal Bauhinia blakeana flower in the centre of a red field. The flag was adopted on 16 February 1990. On 10 August 1996, it received formal approval from the Preparatory Committee, a group which advised the People's Republic of China (PRC) on Hong Kong's transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to the PRC in 1997. The flag was first officially hoisted on 1 July 1997, in the handover ceremony marking the transfer of sovereignty. The precise use of the flag is regulated by laws passed by the 58th executive meeting of the State Council held in Beijing. The design of the flag is enshrined in Hong Kong's Basic Law, the city's constitutional document, and regulations regarding the use, prohibition of use, desecration, and manufacture of the flag are stated in the Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Ordinance. (more...)

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The Canadian Heraldic Authority (French: Autorité héraldique du Canada) is part of the Canadian honours system under the Governor General of Canada. The Authority is responsible for the creation and granting of new coats of arms (armorial bearings), flags and badges for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and corporate bodies. The Authority also registers existing armorial bearings granted by other recognized heraldic authorities, approves military badges, flags and other insignia of the Canadian Forces, and provides information on heraldic practices.

The CHA is the Canadian counterpart of the College of Arms in London and the Court of the Lord Lyon in Scotland and is well-known for its innovative designs, many incorporating First Nations symbolism. (more...)

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Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Greece

Created in 1936, after the restoration of the monarchy, the Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Greece was used until 1967, when King Constantine II was exiled, and then nominally until 1973 when the kingdom was replaced by the Third Hellenic Republic. The arms remains in use by the former Greek Royal Family.

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Coat of arms of the Guardia di Finanza

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