Stain (heraldry)

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In heraldry, a stain (sometimes termed stainand colour or staynard colour) is one of a few non-standard tinctures or colours (namely murrey, sanguine and tenné), which are only known to occur in post-medieval heraldry and are thought to denote a rebatement of honour. Almost none of these rebatements are found in fact of heraldic practice, however, and in British heraldry the stains find only exceptional use, other than for purposes of livery.[1]


Murrey (deriving from late Middle English, via Old French from Medieval Latin moratus, from morum 'mulberry') is mulberry-coloured, or reddish purple.[2]


Sanguine (deriving from Middle English, from Old French sanguin(e) 'blood red', from Latin sanguineus 'of blood', from sanguis, sanguin- 'blood') is a brownish red, or blood-red colour.[3]


Tenné (deriving mid-16th century from an obsolete French variant of Old French tane)[4] (sometimes termed tawny) is an orange-tawny colour, though orange may be considered distinct in continental European and African heraldic traditions.


Historical examples[edit]

Flag of the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fox-Davies (1909), pp. 72-73.
  2. ^ "murrey". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  3. ^ "sanguine". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  4. ^ "tenné". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  5. ^ "Arms and Crest". University of Wales. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  6. ^ Provisional Government of the Republic of Spain (in Spanish). Wikisource link to Decreto del Gobierno Provisional de la República de 27 de abril de 1931. Wikisource.