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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

Sir Anthony Richard Wagner, while serving as Richmond Herald of Arms in Ordinary in 1952.

Sir Anthony Richard Wagner, KCB, KCVO, FSA (6 September 1908–5 May 1995) was a long-serving officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. He served as Garter Principal King of Arms before retiring to the post of Clarenceux King of Arms. He was one of the most prolific authors on subjects of the heraldry and genealogy of the 20th century. (more...)

Selected flag

Flag of Germany

The flag of Germany is a tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal bands displaying the national colours of Germany: black, red and gold. The black-red-gold tricolour first appeared in the early 19th century and achieved prominence during the 1848 revolution. The short-lived Frankfurt Parliament of 1848–50 proposed the tricolour as a flag for a united and democratic German state. With the formation of the Weimar Republic after World War I, the tricolour was adopted as the national flag of Germany. Following World War II, the tricolour was designated as the flag of both West and East Germany. Both flags were identical until 1959, when socialist symbols were added to the East German flag. Since reunification on 3 October 1990, the black-red-gold tricolour has remained the flag of Germany. (more...)

Selected coat of arms

Coat of arms of Slovakia

The coat of arms of Slovakia is composed of a silver (argent) double cross, elevated on the middle peak of a dark blue mountain consisting of three peaks. It is situated on a red (gules) early gothic shield. Extremities of the cross are amplificated, and its ends are concaved. The same symbol (with other colours and minor changes) is in the sinister portion of the Hungarian coat of arms. (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.

Did you know...

Gadsen flag

  • ...that the system of heraldry has two main methods to designate the tinctures of arms: hatching and "tricking", i. e. designation of tinctures by means of abbrevations or signs?

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Commons-logo.svgMedia on Commons • Coats of arms • Flags • Heraldry