Portal:Heraldry

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Welcome to the Heraldry and Vexillogy Portal!

A herald wearing a tabard
Flags of the Nordic 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.

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.

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Mateiu Caragiale

Mateiu Ion Caragiale March 25 [O.S. March 12] 1885-January 17, 1936) was a Romanian poet and prose writer, best known for his novel Craii de Curtea-Veche, which portrays the milieu of boyar descendants before and after World War I. Caragiale's style, associated with Symbolism, the Decadent movement of the fin de siècle, and early modernism, was an original element in the Romanian literature of the interwar period. In other late contributions, Caragiale pioneered detective fiction locally. The scarcity of writings he left is contrasted by their critical acclaim and a large, mostly posthumous, following, commonly known as mateists.

Also known as an amateur heraldist and graphic artist, Caragiale discovered a passion for history and heraldry while at Sfântul Gheorghe College in Bucharest, when he would fill his notebooks with sketches of blazons. Caragiale studied Romanian heraldry and, to this goal, read Octav-George Lecca's Familii boiereşti române ("Romanian Boyar Families"). Many of the comments added by him to his copy of the book are polemic, sarcastic, or mysterious, while the sketches he made on the margin include portrayals of boyars being put to death in various ways, as well as caricatures (such as a blazon displaying a donkey's head, which he mockingly assigned to Octav-George Lecca himself). Caragiale's interest in heraldry and genealogy mirrored his tastes and outlook on the world, which have been described as "snobbery", "aestheticism", and "dandyism". (more...)

Selected coat of arms

State emblem of Pakistan

Pakistan has several official national symbols including a historic document, a flag, an emblem, an anthem, a memorial tower as well as several national heroes. The symbols were adopted at various stages in the existence of Pakistan and there are various rules and regulations governing their definition or use. The oldest symbol is the Lahore Resolution, adopted by the All India Muslim League on 23 March 1940, and which presented the official demand for the creation of a separate country for the Muslims of India. The Minar-e-Pakistan memorial tower which was built in 1968 on the site where the Lahore Resolution was passed. The national flag of Pakistan was adopted just before independence was achieved on 14 August 1947. The national anthem (Qaumi Tarana) and the state emblem of Pakistan were each adopted in 1954. There are also several other symbols including the national animal, bird, flower and tree. (more...)

Selected flag

Royal Standard of Scotland

The Royal Standard of Scotland, also known as the Banner of the King of Scots or more commonly the Lion Rampant of Scotland, is the Scottish Royal Banner of Arms. Used historically by the King of Scots, the Royal Standard of Scotland differs from Scotland's national flag, The Saltire, in that its correct use is restricted by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland to only a few Great Officers of State who officially represent The Sovereign in Scotland. It is also used in an official capacity at Royal residences in Scotland when the Sovereign is not present.

The earliest recorded use of the Lion rampant as a Royal emblem in Scotland is by Alexander II in 1222. This emblem occupied the shield of the Royal coat of arms of the ancient Kingdom of Scotland which, together with a Royal banner displaying the same, was used by the King of Scots until the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when James VI acceded to the thrones of the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Ireland. The Lion Rampant of Scotland can be seen today in the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom. (more...)

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Flags used by the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy), 1892.

Flags used by the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy), 1892.

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Flag of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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