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The German Hyghalmen Roll was made in the late 15th century and illustrates the German practice of repeating themes from the arms in the crest. (See Roll of arms).

Heraldry (/ˈhɛrəldri/) is a broad term, encompassing the design, display, and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, rank, and pedigree. Armory, the best-known branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmission of the heraldic achievement, more commonly known as the coat of arms. The coat of arms usually includes a shield, helmet, and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, badges, heraldic banners, and mottoes.

Although the use of various devices to signify individuals and groups goes back to antiquity, both the form and use of such devices varied widely, and the concept of regular, hereditary designs, constituting the distinguishing feature of heraldry, did not develop until the High Middle Ages. The use of helmets with face guards during this period made it difficult to recognize one's commanders in the field when large armies gathered together for extended periods, necessitating the development of heraldry as a symbolic language. Read more...

Vexillology (/ˌvɛksɪˈlɒləi/) is the study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags or, by extension, any interest in flags in general. The word is a synthesis of the Latin word vexillum ("flag") and the Greek suffix -logia ("study").

A person who studies flags is a vexillologist, one who designs flags is a vexillographer, and the art of flag-designing is called vexillography. One who is a hobbyist or general admirer of flags is a vexillophile. Read more...


Selected article

1957 Coat of Arms of Québec with French, English and Canadian elements

Canadian heraldry refers to the cultural tradition and style of coats of arms and other heraldic achievements in modern and historic Canada, including national, provincial, and civic arms, noble and personal arms, ecclesiastical heraldry, heraldic displays as corporate logos, and Canadian heraldic descriptions.

Canadian heraldry derives mainly from heraldic traditions in France and the United Kingdom while adding distinctly Canadian symbols, especially those which reference the First Nations and other aboriginal peoples of Canada. Canadian heraldry has a unique system of cadency for daughters inheriting arms, and a special symbol for United Empire Loyalists. Since 1988, both personal and corporate heraldry in Canada is officially governed by the Canadian Heraldic Authority, which reviews all applications for arms. (more...)

Selected biography

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 flag

The National Flag of Mexico

In Article 18 of the Law on the National Arms, Flag, and Anthem (Ley Sobre El Escudo, la Bandera y el Himno Nacionales) there is a listing of dates that the Mexican flag is flown by all branches of government. Civilians are also encouraged to display the national flag on these days. Many of the dates listed in the law denote significant events and people that shaped of Mexican identity and the course of its History. Some of the holidays and commemorations listed require the flag to be flown at half-staff. The national flag can be flown any day of the year by civilians or at festive occasions in persurrence to Article 15 of the Law on the National Arms, Flag, and Anthem. (more...)

Selected image

Blue and white banner of Zürich

The blue and white banner of Zürich was depicted in a 1585 painting by Humbert Mareschet. The red Schwenkel on top of the banner is typical of German heraldry.

Did you know...

Coat of arms of Toppenstedt

  • ...that the Karavas were the only Sri Lankan community traditionally entitled to use flags?

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