Emmet (heraldry)

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The arms of Multia, Finland, a rare example of the use of a simple emmet (or ant) in heraldry

The Emmet, also called the ant and the pismire, is an heraldic charge in European heraldry, particularly in British and German heraldry.


The emmet is understood as a symbol of hard work and of wisdom. In his A Display of Heraldrie (1610), John Guillim of the English College of Arms says:

"By the Emmet or Pismire may be signified a Man of great Labour, Wisdom, and Providence in all his Affairs, and of a pregnant and ready Memory."[1]

Examples from Britain[edit]

  • Massy: argent a bend azure between three emmets sable[2]



  1. ^ John Guillim, A Display of Heraldry, 1724 edition, p. 202
  2. ^ Thomas Robson, The British herald; or, Cabinet of armorial bearings of the nobility & gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, from the earliest to the present time (1830), p. 228