Heraldic courtesy

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Arms in courtoisie

Heraldic courtesy or courtoisie is a term used in heraldry when two arms are combined next to each other. The dexter arms is flipped horizontally so its charge is turned towards the sinister arms, out of courtesy. This is usually done when the arms show an alliance.[1][2]

This placement of two arms next to each other is often used in German armorial practice, while in English heraldry impalement is more usual.


  1. ^ Adolf Matthias Hildebrandt (Begr.): Handbuch der Heraldik, 19. Auflage, Neustadt an der Aisch, 1998, S. 153.
  2. ^ Peter, Bernhard. "Courtoisie und Wenden: Wann und wie?". Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 6 February 2013.