Talk:List of heraldic charges

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Common charges[edit]

You can't use the phrase "common charges" in this way as "common charges" has a specific meaning in heraldry. It doesn't mean, charges that commonly appear. It means charges that aren't ordinaries, diminutives, or subordinaries. --Daniel C. Boyer 15:54, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

links improvements[edit]

Links to are useless because they expire rapidly. Try to get the true address of the page found.

The sentence about exceptions to "default human is European" linked to a page of Scottish thumbnails; guessing that it meant the two coats that have men of four colors rowing galleys, I linked those two explicitly.

Zianno di Fiemme: old link was to a page, now gone, on the town's website; I replaced it with ICH's entry, though that unfortunately has no annotation.

Only subscribers can see the actual blazons at Kuruvinda, so such links (Braunjohan, Boul) are inappropriate for a free reference. Ditto the forum of the Heraldry Society of Scotland.

Does the USAF have anything corresponding to the Army Heraldry Institute? I'm finding dead links and making do with pages that have thumbnails of the devices in question.

In other news, I removed the section "Common charges" and promoted its subsections; it's silly to have one short section and one long section containing everything else. —Tamfang 22:17, 29 August 2006 (UTC)


Please cite the content rather than the framing page. If I knew the French for cocoon, would I be able to find it on —Tamfang 06:31, 3 September 2006 (UTC)


[1] gives a 403 error. —Tamfang 20:33, 7 September 2006 (UTC)


The link given for Mont-Dore is in fact that for Terre-de-Haut (cited elsewhere): someone pasted the wrong thing. —Tamfang 06:28, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Muisca design[edit]

here: should this be included under list of heraldic charges or patterns of the field? --Daniel C. Boyer 19:41, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

It appears to fill the whole field, without adjusting for the shape of the field, so I'd call it a pattern. —Tamfang 22:35, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Attitudes of humans and animals[edit]

Might be split off from either this page or Charge (heraldry) so the size of either could be reduced and this could be developed in detail. --Daniel C. Boyer 21:54, 5 December 2006 (UTC)


Should be listed under trees as in heraldry coffee is considered to grow on trees. As a subcategory the branches of the "tree" and its seeds should be considered. --Daniel C. Boyer 21:45, 20 December 2006 (UTC)


I am stunned by the number of pictures in this article. It has one. There ought to be dozens. To start with there should be one comparing fusil, mascle, and rustre. An article like this without pictures is just tedious. —  Randall Bart   Talk  21:40, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

external link style[edit]

User:Ida Shaw's cleanup work is impressive but (you know a but was coming, eh?) I question the value of putting all the external links in footnotes. Footnotes are used to avoid interrupting the flow of text; the external links, as they stood, were no more interruptive than a footnote marker. The new footnotes make the article longer, in the sense that it would take several more sheets of paper to print it. This strikes me as a good place to apply WP:IAR. —Tamfang (talk) 17:58, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

human heads[edit]

first of all the race and ethnicity section seems to be similar in content to the preceding section. second, how frequent do these really occur, and in there some standardization. I know that moor's heads seem frequent and somewhat standardized. But what is the difference between a head blazoned Welsh and one blazoned English? (talk) 07:03, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

types of charges[edit]

in theory one can put any thing on shield and it becomes a charge, so is the purpose of this list to list every thing that has been place upon a shield? especially since some of these "charges" appear in one instance, and depicted proper, perhaps a more exclusive policy is in order. Tinynanorobots (talk) 04:48, 22 July 2011 (UTC)


 "If the penis of the animal is of a different tincture than the rest, it is said to be pizzled."

The cited reference makes no reference to this term, which seems to be more slang than jargon. Needs better reference, or removal of term. I did, however, find reference to the term vilené, but have not found a translation. Grolltech (talk) 20:20, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

I cannot personally attest to pizzled as an heraldic term, and I find it odd (not incredible, but odd) that a Germanic term like pezel or pesel, rather than a Latinate term like phallus, would find currency in Anglo-Norman blazon. I also have grave doubts about anything on the server as a reliable source. The archived source does mention a bear pisseled (South African variant?), and, an arguably more reliable source, states "If the sex of the animal is of a different tincture, the animal is said to be vilené (pizzled in English blazon). If the sex is missing, the animal is éviré."(Sex in Heraldry) Sadly, they do not back it up with an actual example or published source though. I was surprised to find Webster's online dictionary among the web search results, but upon further inspection, I found that Webster's was only mirroring Wikipedia's content! I remain skeptical of this term because it abounds in second rate sources about heraldry, but since it is not attested in any solid heraldic source, I would support removing it. Wilhelm Meis (☎ Diskuss | ✍ Beiträge) 04:08, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
In Rietstap, J.B (1884), Armorial général: précédé d'un Dictionnaire des termes du blason, Volume 1, G. B. van Goor zonen, p. XXXI, it does indeed confirm "vilené" as follows:
"vilené – se dit d'un animal qui a la marque du sexe d'un autre émail que le corps."
which Google translates to:
"Vilene - says of an animal that had the mark of the sex of another enamel than the body."
I have no idea whether "Vilene" is a proper English (or heraldic) translation. Wikipedia, however, in the article on Irish stepdance, of all places, has the following passage:
"The commission dresses have stiff skirts which can be stiffened with Vilene and are intricately embroidered."
The web supports this definition of "vilene" in sewing contexts as a non-woven backing or stiffener, used in handbags, etc. We are 'in the ballpark' as it were (no pun intended), at least in terms of consistency in meaning...
On a side note, I'd like to also point out just how rare the term 'vilené' is in heraldry. In Vol.1 of Reitstap, for example, the term appears exactly 7 times in a book that is 1238 pages long, with about 30 blazons per page! In February, when I looked at the SVG blasons over at the WikiMedia Commons, however, I was stunned to see that the frequency of vilené bears, goats, horses, lions, etc. was many orders of magnitude too high. Apparently, the artists who were creating those images were doing so because they felt that it was more fashionable to display 'manly, virile, horny beasts' rather than accurate depictions. I was pleasantly surprised just now to see that someone may be providing oversight, because on the surface, it seems that the numbers have dwindled somewhat. It still seems, looking at Commons:Category:Ibexes in heraldry, Commons:Category:Bears in heraldry, or Commons:Category:Bears rampant, for example, there are still too many....
I did not find any hits on "éviré" in Reitstap, but Reverso:éviré has this to say:
"éviré - (héraldique) sans sexe visible pour un animal"
Which Google translates to:
"éviré - (heraldry) without sex visible for an animal"
While Google doesn't translate "éviré" to English, does translate "éviration" to mean "emasculation". Groll†ech (talk) 20:33, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Reworking of article[edit]

There were several problems with this list. A lot of dead links, also a lot of original research (citing a picture of arms as a source), unclear categorizations and a focus on modern and unusual charges to the detriment of traditional ones. Also, a there seems to be a lot of attention given to frequency and specificity. Anyway, I am in the process of rewriting it. I am focusing on using charges listed in books and authoritative articles etc.

The difficulty here is that anything could be a charge, and while traditionally, charges were not very specific even when used to represent specific things (such as a bishop representing any one a number of saints), now-a-days nothing is just a plane, it is the f-14 used by John "example" Smith on Dec 2.

Also, there is inconsistency with how it is format and things are listed. Hopefully the list now is more manageable, and we can reformat it and build it up. So if you have some advice on how to do this that would be appreciated. Also, some good sources. Tinynanorobots (talk) 13:38, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

I applaud your effort and fully support the general spirit of your changes. If I have any suggestions, it would be that some notes on frequency/rarity may be useful in this article/list, as long as these are objective and well-sourced, and not too disruptive. Wilhelm Meis (☎ Diskuss | ✍ Beiträge) 04:00, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
why wasn't just everything that was unreferenced simply removed? what is the point of random bullet lists of random items which if you google them may turn out to have been used on some coat of arms (if nothing else, municipal arms made up in the 1910s or so)?
this page needs to be rebuilt from scratch, closely based on heraldic secondary literature (dictionary of heraldry), establishing for each entry if it is found in classical heraldry, and if possible when it is first recorded. This is extremely easy to do, it's just a matter of investing the necessary time. It can also include more eccentric items, but they must be closely referenced.
What is the point of a bullet list entry linking to mole (animal)? The linked page says nothing about heraldry. Instead, cite e.g. Fox-Davies 1909, p. 217, The Mole, sometimes termed a moldiwarp, occurs in the arms of Mitford ["Argent, a fess sable between three moles displayed sable"]. --dab (𒁳) 09:50, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Suggestions for new outline of list[edit]

Does anyone have a suggestion on how we should outline the list? such as how to categorize and the order to put them in. Tinynanorobots (talk) 14:20, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

I would say we should lead with traditional heraldic charges, beginning with the so-called "honourable ordinaries" and their alternates, followed by traditional mobile charges such as labels, frets, rustres, mullets, escarbuncles, gouttes, etc., and then follow that with animals (being the next most frequently occurring class of charges), then humans/human parts, then mythical/legendary creatures, then plants/plant parts, and finally inanimate objects like keys, towers, ships, etc. Within these headings, charges should probably be listed alphabetically. That's just my immediate thoughts, but I'll be happy to hear any objections or other thoughts. Wilhelm Meis (☎ Diskuss | ✍ Beiträge) 04:18, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

||I am working on this as well : which is in line with your proposal.Knorrepoes (talk) 18:38, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

please, the approach the number of charges is endless is not very productive. There is a reason we consult secondary literature. Just use some of the respectable heraldic dictionaries, the kind you find online in fully digitized form, and begin by replicating the charges these works found worthy of inclusion. These are going to be selections which have already passed the muster of expert heraldists who spent a lifetime becoming familiar with the topic, and who invested years in building exactly the type of list you want to build here. Once you are done with that, there can still be quirky additions, these are naturally never going to be "complete", but they are also going to be of the nature of "trivia". Listing the heraldic charges used in the 14th and 15th centuries, for example, is a formidable task to be sure, but it is not "endless" because the source material is limited, and what is more the task has already been completed a century ago and all you need to do is copy-paste the effort of dead scholars. --dab (𒁳) 09:57, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

a crucial quibble[edit]

If Jesus appears on a cross, he is not on a crucifix; he is a crucifix (something affixed to a cross). —Tamfang (talk) 08:29, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

other languages?[edit]

A leopard refers to a lion "passant guardant" in languages besides heraldry, rather than a natural leopard.

Besides heraldry, really? Was this sentence slightly mutilated? —Tamfang (talk) 08:34, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Probably. I also noticed that the subsequent sentence appeared to suggest the leopard may appear as a lion passant guardant with a fleur de lys through his face. I've never seen that, only the whole leopard or the head jessant-de-lys. I hope my change clarified things a bit. Wilhelm Meis (☎ Diskuss | ✍ Beiträge) 15:08, 8 July 2013 (UTC)