Coat of arms

A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon (i.e., shield), surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which in its whole consists of shield, supporters, crest, and motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, family, state, organization or corporation.

The Roll of Arms is a collection of many coats of arms, and since the early Modern Age centuries it has been a source of information for public showing and tracing the membership of a noble family, and therefore its genealogy across time.

History

The ancient Greek hoplites used individual insignia on their shields.[3] The ancient Romans used similar insignia on their shields, but these identified military units.

Heraldic designs came into general use among western nobility in the 12th century. Systematic, heritable heraldry had developed by the beginning of the 13th century. Exactly who had a right to use arms, by law or social convention, varied to some degree between countries. Early heraldic designs were personal, used by individual noblemen (who might also alter their chosen design over time). Arms become hereditary by the end of the 12th century, in England by King Richard I during the Third Crusade (1189–1192).

Burgher arms are used in Northern Italy in the second half of the 13th century, and in the Holy Roman Empire by the mid 14th century. In the late medieval period, use of arms spread to the clergy, to towns as civic identifiers, and to royally chartered organizations such as universities and trading companies. The arts of vexillology and heraldry are closely related.


The term coat of arms itself in origin refers to the surcoat with heraldic designs worn by combattants, especially in the knightly tournament, in Old French cote a armer. The sense is transferred to the heraldic design itself in Middle English, in the mid-14th century.[4]

Despite no widespread regulation, heraldry has remained consistent across Europe, where tradition alone has governed the design and use of arms. Some nations, like England and Scotland, still maintain the same heraldic authorities which have traditionally granted and regulated arms for centuries and continue to do so in the present day. In England, for example, the granting of arms is and has been controlled by the College of Arms. Unlike seals and other general emblems, heraldic "achievements" have a formal description called a blazon, which uses vocabulary that allows for consistency in heraldic depictions. In the present day, coats of arms are still in use by a variety of institutions and individuals: for example, many European cities and universities have guidelines on how their coats of arms may be used, and protect their use as trademarks.[5][6] Many societies exist that also aid in the design and registration of personal arms.

Pompa funebris Albert Ardux - duc Brabantiae
Brabant Lion by Floris de Merode, Baron of Leefdael during the solemn Funeral of Albert VII, Archduke of Austria
Hyghalmen Roll Late 1400s
The German Hyghalmen Roll, c. late 15th century, illustrates the German practice of thematic repetition from the arms in the crest

Heraldry has been compared to modern corporate logos.[7]

Regional traditions

French heraldry

The French system of heraldry greatly influenced the British and Western European systems. Much of the terminology and classifications are taken from it. However, with the fall of the French monarchy (and later Empire) there is not currently a Fons Honorum (power to dispense and control honors) to strictly enforce heraldic law. The French Republics that followed have either merely affirmed pre-existing titles and honors or vigorously opposed noble privilege. Coats of arms are considered an intellectual property of a family or municipal body. Assumed arms (arms invented and used by the holder rather than granted by an authority) are considered valid unless they can be proved in court to copy that of an earlier holder.

British heraldry

Arms of Duke of Richmond 02817
Arms of the Duke of Richmond c.1780
Coat of arms of Sir Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby, KG
Coat of arms of Sir Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby, KG

In the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland, an individual, rather than a family, had a coat of arms. In those traditions coats of arms are legal property transmitted from father to son; wives and daughters could also bear arms modified to indicate their relation to the current holder of the arms. Undifferenced arms are used only by one person at any given time. Other descendants of the original bearer could bear the ancestral arms only with some difference: usually a colour change or the addition of a distinguishing charge. One such charge is the label, which in British usage (outside the Royal Family) is now always the mark of an heir apparent or (in Scotland) an heir presumptive. Because of their importance in identification, particularly in seals on legal documents, the use of arms was strictly regulated; few countries continue in this today. This has been carried out by heralds and the study of coats of arms is therefore called "heraldry". In time, the use of arms spread from military entities to educational institutes, and other establishments.[5]

In Scotland, the Lord Lyon King of Arms has criminal jurisdiction to control the use of arms. In England, Northern Ireland and Wales the use of arms is a matter of civil law and regulated by the College of Arms and the High Court of Chivalry.

In reference to a dispute over the exercise of authority over the Officers of Arms in England, Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey, Lord Privy Seal, declared on 16 June 1673 that the powers of the Earl Marshal were "to order, judge, and determine all matters touching arms, ensigns of nobility, honour, and chivalry; to make laws, ordinances, and statutes for the good government of the Officers of Arms; to nominate Officers to fill vacancies in the College of Arms; to punish and correct Officers of Arms for misbehaviour in the execution of their places". It was further declared that no patents of arms or any ensigns of nobility should be granted and no augmentation, alteration, or addition should be made to arms without the consent of the Earl Marshal.

Irish heraldry

In Ireland the usage and granting of coats of arms was strictly regulated by the Ulster King of Arms from the office's creation in 1552. After Irish independence in 1922 the office was still functioning and working out of Dublin Castle. The last Ulster King of Arms was Sir Nevile Rodwell Wilkinson [Ulster King of Arms 1908–1940], who held it until his death in 1940. At the Irish government's request, no new King of Arms was appointed. Thomas Ulick Sadleir, the Deputy Ulster King of Arms, then became the Acting Ulster King of Arms. He served until the office was merged with that of Norroy King of Arms in 1943 and stayed on until 1944 to clear up the backlog.

An earlier Ireland King of Arms was created by King Richard II in 1392 and discontinued by King Henry VII in 1487. It didn't grant many coats of arms – the few it did grant were annulled by the other Kings of Arms because they encroached upon their jurisdictions. Its purpose was supposedly to marshal an expedition to fully conquer Ireland that never materialized. Since 1 April 1943 the authority has been split between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Heraldry in the Republic of Ireland is regulated by the Government of Ireland, by the Genealogical Office through the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland. Heraldry in Northern Ireland is regulated by the British Government by the College of Arms through the Norroy and Ulster King of Arms.

German and Scandinavian heraldry

Vaasa.vaakuna
Coat of arms of the city of Vaasa, showing the shield with the Royal House of Wasa emblem, a crown and a Cross of Liberty pendant.

The heraldic tradition and style of modern and historic Germany and the Holy Roman Empire — including national and civic arms, noble and burgher arms, ecclesiastical heraldry, heraldic displays, and heraldic descriptions — stand in contrast to Gallo-British, Latin and Eastern heraldry, and strongly influenced the styles and customs of heraldry in the Nordic countries, which developed comparatively late.[8]

In the Nordic countries, provinces, regions, cities, and municipalities have coats of arms. These are posted at the borders and on buildings containing official offices, as well as used in official documents and on the uniforms of municipal officers. Arms may also be used on souvenirs or other effects, given that an application has been granted by the municipal council.

Other national traditions

Liptov coatofarms
Coat of Arms of Liptov County in Slovakia.

At a national level, "coats of arms" were generally retained by European states with constitutional continuity of more than a few centuries, including constitutional monarchies like Denmark as well as old republics like San Marino and Switzerland.

In Italy the use of coats of arms was only loosely regulated by the states existing before the unification of 1861. Since the Consulta Araldica, the college of arms of the Kingdom of Italy, was abolished in 1948, personal coats of arms and titles of nobility, though not outlawed, are not recognised.

Coats of arms in Spain were generally left up to the owner themselves, but the design was based on military service and the heritage of their grandparents. In France, the coat of arms is based on the Fleur-de-lys and the Rule of Tinctures used in English heraldry as well.

North American

Great Seal of the United States (obverse)
The Great Seal of the United States, which displays as its central design the heraldic device of the nation.

The Queen of Canada has delegated her prerogative to grant armorial bearings to the Governor General of Canada. Canada has its own Chief Herald and Herald Chancellor. The Canadian Heraldic Authority is situated at Rideau Hall.[9][10] The Great Seal of the United States uses on the obverse as its central motif an heraldic achievement described as being the arms of the nation.[11] The seal, and the armorial bearings, were adopted by the Continental Congress on 20 June 1782, and is a shield divided palewise into thirteen pieces, with a blue chief, which is displayed upon the breast of an American bald eagle. The crest is thirteen stars breaking through a glory and clouds, displayed with no helm, torse, or mantling (unlike most European precedents). Only a few of the American states have adopted a coat of arms, which is usually designed as part of the respective state's seal. Vermont has both a state seal and a state coat of arms that are independent of one another (though both contain a pine tree, a cow and sheaves of grain); the seal is used to authenticate documents, whilst the heraldic device represents the state itself.

Ecclesiastic heraldry

John paul 2 coa
The coat of arms of Pope John Paul II displays the papal tiara and crossed keys of the pontifical office.

The Vatican City State and the Holy See each have their own coat of arms. As the papacy is not hereditary, its occupants display their personal arms combined with those of their office. Some popes came from armigerous (noble) families; others adopted coats of arms during their career in the Church. The latter typically allude to their ideal of life, or to specific pontifical programmes.[12] A well-known and widely displayed example in recent times was Pope John Paul II's arms. His selection of a large letter M (for the Virgin Mary) was intended to express the message of his strong Marian devotion.[13] Roman Catholic dioceses are also each assigned a coat of arms, as are basilicas or papal churches, the latter usually displaying these on the building. These may be used in countries which otherwise do not use heraldic devices. In countries like Scotland with a strong statutory heraldic authority, arms will need to be officially granted and recorded.

Flags and banners

Flags are used to identify ships (where they are called ensigns), embassies and such, and they use the same colors and designs found in heraldry, but they are not usually considered to be heraldic. A country may have both a national flag and a national coat of arms, and the two may not look alike at all. For example, the flag of Scotland (St Andrew's Cross) has a white saltire on a blue field, but the royal arms of Scotland has a red lion within a double tressure on a gold (or) field.

Modern national emblems

Egyptian coats of arms showing common Near and Middle Eastern motifs, namely the crescent and stars which are symbols of the region's predominant religion, Islam, and Saladin's eagle.

Coat of arms of Egypt (1922–1953)
Coat of arms of United Arab Republic (Syria 1958-61, Egypt 1958-1971)

Among the states ruled by communist regimes, emblems resembling the Soviet design were adopted in all the Warsaw Pact states except Czechoslovakia and Poland. Since 1989, some of the ex-Communist states, as Romania or Russia have reused their original pre-communist heraldry, often with only the symbols of monarchy removed. Other countries such as Belarus or Tajikistan have retained their communist coats of arms or at least kept some of the old heraldry.

With the formation of the modern nation states of the Arab World in the second half of the 20th century, European traditions of heraldry were partially adopted for state emblems. These emblems often involve the star and crescent symbol taken from the Ottoman flag. Another commonly seen symbol is the eagle, which is a symbol attributed to Saladin,[14] and the hawk of the Qureish. These symbols can be found on the Coat of Arms of Egypt and Syria.

African flags and emblems after decolonisation often chose emblems based on regional traditions or wildlife. Symbols of a ritual significance according to local custom were generally favoured, such as the leopard in the arms of Benin, Malawi, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, in the form of the black panther, of Gabon.

In Kenya, the Swahili word Harambee (lit. "Let us come together") is used as a motto in the country's coat of arms. In Botswana and Lesotho, meanwhile, the word Pula (lit. "Rain") is used in like fashion.

In the coat of arms of Swaziland, a lion and an elephant serve as supporters. They are each intended to represent the king and the queen mother respectively, the nation's joint heads of state.

Comparable traditions outside of Europe

Japanese emblems, called kamon (often abbreviated "mon"), are family badges which often date back to the 7th century, and are used in Japan today. The Japanese tradition is independent of the European, but many abstract and floral elements are used.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ A.G. Puttock, A Dictionary of Heraldry and Related Subjects, Exeter 1985. Blaketon Hall. ISBN 0907854 93 1. P. 40
  2. ^ Stephen Friar (ed.), A New Dictionary of Heraldry, London 1987. Alphabooks/A&C Black. ISBN 0-906670-44-6. P. 96.
  3. ^ George H. Chase, Shield Devices of the Greeks, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 13 1902
  4. ^ etymonline.com
  5. ^ a b "Educational Institute Coat of arms". October 2005. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Policy on use of the Workmark and Insignia of McGill University" (PDF). 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  7. ^ Employee Identification with the Corporate Identity International Studies of Management and Organization, Volume 32, Number 3, 2002 "Group Identity Formation in the German Renaissance". 20 August 2002. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  8. ^ Volborth, Carl-Alexander von (1981). Heraldry: Customs, Rules and Styles. Poole, England: Blandford Press. ISBN 0-7137-0940-5. ISBN 0-7137-0940-5 p.129.
  9. ^ "The History of Heraldry in Canada". Royal Heraldry Society of Canada. 28 April 2004. Archived from the original on 6 March 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2008.
  10. ^ "The Canadian Heraldic Authority". Canadian Heraldic Authority. 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  11. ^ "2004 Seal Broch" (PDF). July 2003. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Coat of arms of His Holiness Benedict XVI". 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Vatican press office". 9 June 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Coat of Arms (Eagle of Saladin)". Macaulay Honors College. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2015.

References

External links

Armorial of sovereign states

This gallery of sovereign state coats of arms shows the coat of arms, an emblem serving a similar purpose or both (such as greater and lesser coat of arms, national emblem or seal) of each of the countries in the list of countries.

Arms of Canada

The Arms of Canada (French: armoiries du Canada), also known as the Royal Coat of Arms of Canada (French: armoiries royales du Canada) or formally as the Arms of Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada (French: Armoiries de Sa Majesté la Reine du chef du Canada), is, since 1921, the official coat of arms of the Canadian monarch and thus also of Canada. It is closely modelled after the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom with French and distinctive Canadian elements replacing or added to those derived from the British version.

The maple leaves in the shield, blazoned "proper", were originally drawn vert (green) but were redrawn gules (red) in 1957 and a circlet of the Order of Canada was added to the arms for limited use in 1987. The shield design forms the monarch's royal standard and is also found on the Canadian Red Ensign. The Flag of the Governor General of Canada, which formerly used the shield over the Union Flag, now uses the crest of the arms on a blue field.

The arms are embossed on the covers of Canadian passports, in order to legally signify and symbolize that the bearer is travelling under the aid of the Crown of Canada.

Brașov

Brașov (Romanian pronunciation: [braˈʃov] (listen), Latin: Corona, German: Kronstadt, Transylvanian Saxon: Kruhnen, Hungarian: Brassó) is a city in Romania and the administrative centre of Brașov County.

According to the latest Romanian census (2011), Brașov has a population of 253,200 making it the 7th most populous city in Romania. The metropolitan area is home to 382,896 residents.Brașov is located in the central part of the country, about 166 kilometres (103 miles) north of Bucharest and 380 kilometres (236 miles) from the Black Sea. It is surrounded by the Southern Carpathians and is part of the historical region of Transylvania.

The city is notable for being the regional capital of the Transylvanian Saxons of the Burzenland administrative area in the past, and a large commercial hub on the trade roads between East and West. It is also the birthplace of the national anthem of Romania.

Canting arms

Canting arms are heraldic bearings that represent the bearer's name (or, less often, some attribute or function) in a visual pun or rebus. The term was derived from the Anglo-Norman cant, meaning song or singing.

French heralds used the term armes parlantes (English: "talking arms"), as they would sound out the name of the armiger. Many armorial allusions require research for elucidation because of changes in language and dialect that have occurred over the past millennium.

Canting arms – some in the form of rebuses – are quite common in German civic heraldry. They have also been increasingly used in the 20th century among the British royal family. When the visual representation is not straightforward but as complex as a rebus, this is sometimes called a rebus coat of arms.

An in-joke among Society for Creative Anachronism heralds is the pun, "Heralds don't pun; they cant."

Coat of arms of Germany

The coat of arms of Germany displays a black eagle with a red beak, a red tongue and red feet on a golden field, which is blazoned: Or, an eagle displayed sable beaked langued and membered gules. This is the Bundesadler (German for "Federal Eagle"), formerly known as the Reichsadler (German for "Imperial Eagle").

It is a re-introduction of the coat of arms of the Weimar Republic (in use 1919–1935), which was adopted by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1950. The current official design is due to Karl-Tobias Schwab (1887–1967) and was originally introduced in 1928.

The German Empire of 1871–1918 had re-introduced the medieval coat of arms of the Holy Roman Emperors, in use during the 13th and 14th centuries (a black single-headed eagle on a golden background), before the emperors adopted the double-headed eagle, beginning with Sigismund of Luxemburg in 1433. The single-headed Prussian Eagle (on a white background; blazoned: Argent, an eagle displayed sable) was used as an escutcheon to represent the Prussian kings as dynasts of the German Empire. The Weimar Republic introduced a version in which the escutcheon and other monarchical symbols were removed.

Coat of arms of Ireland

The coat of arms of Ireland is blazoned as Azure a Celtic Harp Or, stringed Argent (a gold harp with silver strings on a blue background). These arms have long been Ireland's heraldic emblem. References to them as being the arms of the king of Ireland can be found as early as the 13th century. These arms were adopted by Henry VIII of England when he ended the period of Lordship of Ireland and declared Ireland to be a kingdom again in 1541. When the crowns of England, Scotland and Ireland were united in 1603, they were integrated into the unified royal coat of arms of kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland. The harp was adopted as the emblem of the Irish Free State when it separated from the United Kingdom in 1922. They were registered as the arms of Ireland with the Chief Herald of Ireland on 9 November 1945.The depiction of the harp has changed over time. In the 17th century, during the period of the Kingdom of Ireland, the pillar of the harp began to be depicted as a bare-breasted woman. When the arms were restored as the arms of the independent Irish state in 1922, a late-medieval Gaelic harp (a cláirseach), the Trinity College Harp, was used as a model.

Several variants of the arms of Ireland exist, including a heraldic badge and an infrequently used crest and torse. The Lordship of Ireland, the medieval realm of Ireland that existed between 1171 and 1541 under the English crown, had a separate arms, which are blazoned Azure, three crowns in pale Or, bordure Argent (three golden crowns ordered vertically on a blue background with a white border). A variant of the arms of the ancient royal province of Meath were also apparently used at one time as the arms of Ireland.

Coat of arms of Poland

The coat of arms of Poland is a white, crowned eagle with a golden beak and talons, on a red background.

In Poland, the coat of arms as a whole is referred to as godło both in official documents and colloquial speech, despite the fact that other coats of arms are usually called an herb (e.g. the Nałęcz herb or the coat of arms of Finland). This stems from the fact that in Polish heraldry, the word godło (plural: godła) means only a heraldic charge (in this particular case a white crowned eagle) and not an entire coat of arms, but it is also an archaic word for a national symbol of any sort. In later legislation only the herb retained this designation; it is unknown why.

Coat of arms of Portugal

The coat of arms of Portugal is the main heraldic insignia of Portugal. The present model was officially adopted on 30 June 1911, along with the present model of the Flag of Portugal. It is based on the coat of arms used by the Portuguese Kingdom since the Middle Ages. The coat of arms of Portugal is popularly referred as the Quinas (a quina being a group of five things).

Coat of arms of Russia

The coat of arms of the Russian Federation derives from the earlier coat of arms of the Russian Empire which was abolished with the Russian Revolution in 1917 and restored in 1993 after the constitutional crisis. Though modified more than once since the reign of Ivan III (1462–1505), the current coat of arms is directly derived from its mediaeval original, with the double-headed eagle having Byzantine and earlier antecedents from long before the emergence of any Russian state. The general tincture corresponds to the early fifteenth-century standard. The shape of the eagle can be traced back to the reign of Peter the Great (1682–1725), although the eagle charge on the present coat of arms is golden rather than the traditional, imperial black.

Coat of arms of the BBC

The coat of arms of the BBC was adopted in March 1927 to represent the purpose and values of the corporation. It is seldom used nowadays except for ceremonial purposes.

Coat of arms of the Philippines

The Coat of arms of the Philippines (Filipino: Sagisag ng Pilipinas)(Spanish: Escudo de Filipinas) features the eight-rayed sun of the Philippines with each ray representing the eight provinces (Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Manila, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Tarlac) which were placed under martial law by Governor-General Ramón Blanco during the Philippine Revolution, and the three five-pointed stars representing the three primary geographic regions of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

On the blue field on the dexter side is the North American bald eagle of the United States, and on the red field on the sinister side is the lion rampant of the coat of arms of the Kingdom of León of Spain, both representing the country's colonial past. The current arms, which shares many features of the national flag, was designed by Filipino artist and heraldist Captain Galo B. Ocampo.

Emblem of Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian national emblem (Arabic: شعار السعودية‎) was adopted in 1950. According to the Saudi Basic Law, it consists of two crossed swords with a palm tree in the space above and between the blades.

The two swords represent the Kingdom of Hejaz and the Sultanate of Najd and its dependencies, which were united under Ibn Saud in 1926. The palm tree represents the Kingdom's assets which are defined as its people, heritage, history, and resources natural and non-natural. Thus, the palm is shown to be guarded by the two swords, which represent the forces to be used in defence of the nation.

Great Seal of the United States

The Great Seal of the United States is used to authenticate certain documents issued by the federal government of the United States. The phrase is used both for the physical seal itself, which is kept by the United States Secretary of State, and more generally for the design impressed upon it. The Great Seal was first used publicly in 1782.

The obverse of the Great Seal is used as the national coat of arms of the United States. It is officially used on documents such as United States passports, military insignia, embassy placards, and various flags. As a coat of arms, the design has official colors; the physical Great Seal itself, as affixed to paper, is monochrome.

Since 1935, both sides of the Great Seal have appeared on the reverse of the one-dollar bill. The Seal of the President of the United States is directly based on the Great Seal, and its elements are used in numerous government agency and state seals.

Lion (heraldry)

The lion is a common charge in heraldry. It traditionally symbolises courage, nobility, royalty, strength, stateliness and valour, because historically it has been regarded as the "king of beasts". Lion refers also to a Judeo-Christian symbolism. The Lion of Judah stands in the coat of arms of Jerusalem. Similar looking lion can be found e.g. in the coat of arms of the Swedish royal House of Bjelbo, from there in turn derived into the coat of arms of Finland, formerly belonging to Sweden, and many others examples for similar historical reasons.

Polish złoty

The złoty (pronounced [ˈzwɔtɘ] (listen); sign: zł; code: PLN), which is the masculine form of the Polish adjective 'golden', is the currency of Poland. The modern złoty is subdivided into 100 groszy (singular: grosz; alternative plural form: grosze). The recognised English form of the word is zloty (plural: zloty or zlote). The currency sign, zł, is composed of the Polish lower-case letters z and ł (Unicode: U+007A z LATIN SMALL LETTER Z & U+0142 ł LATIN SMALL LETTER L WITH STROKE).

As a result of inflation in the early 1990s, the currency underwent redenomination. Thus, on 1 January 1995, 10,000 old złotych (PLZ) became one new złoty (PLN). Since then, the currency has been relatively stable, with an exchange rate fluctuating between 3 and 4 złoty for a United States dollar.

Royal Arms of England

The Royal Arms of England are the arms first adopted in a fixed form at the start of the age of heraldry (circa 1200) as personal arms by the Plantagenet kings who ruled England from 1154. In the popular mind they have come to symbolise the nation of England, although according to heraldic usage nations do not bear arms, only persons and corporations do. The blazon of the Arms of Plantagenet is: Gules, three lions passant guardant in pale or armed and langued azure, signifying three identical gold lions (also known as leopards) with blue tongues and claws, walking past but facing the observer, arranged in a column on a red background. Although the tincture azure of tongue and claws is not cited in many blazons, they are historically a distinguishing feature of the Arms of England. This coat, designed in the High Middle Ages, has been variously combined with those of the Kings of France, Scotland, a symbol of Ireland, the House of Nassau and the Kingdom of Hanover, according to dynastic and other political changes occurring in England, but has not altered since it took a fixed form in the reign of Richard I (1189–1199), the second Plantagenet king.

Although in England the official blazon refers to "lions", French heralds historically used the term "leopard" to represent the lion passant guardant, and hence the arms of England, no doubt, are more correctly blazoned, "leopards". Without doubt the same animal was intended, but different names were given according to the position; in later times the name lion was given to both.Royal emblems depicting lions were first used by Danish Vikings, Saxons (Lions were adopted in Germanic tradition around the 5th century, they were re-interpreted in a Christian context in the western kingdoms of Gaul and Northern Italy in the 6th and 7th centuries) and Normans. Later, with Plantagenets a formal and consistent English heraldry system emerged at the end of the 12th century. The earliest surviving representation of an escutcheon, or shield, displaying three lions is that on the Great Seal of King Richard I (1189–1199), which initially displayed one or two lions rampant, but in 1198 was permanently altered to depict three lions passant, perhaps representing Richard I's principal three positions as King of the English, Duke of the Normans, and Duke of the Aquitanians. In 1340, Edward III laid claim to the throne of France, and thus adopted the Royal arms of France which he quartered with his paternal arms, the Royal Arms of England. He placed the French arms in the 1st and 4th quarters. This quartering was adjusted, abandoned and restored intermittently throughout the Middle Ages as the relationship between England and France changed. When the French king altered his arms from semée of fleur-de-lys, to only three, the English quartering eventually followed suit. After the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland entered a personal union, the arms of England and Scotland were marshalled (combined) in what has now become the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom. It appears in a similar capacity to represent England in the Arms of Canada and on the Queen's Personal Canadian Flag. The coat of three lions continues to represent England on several coins of the pound sterling, forms the basis of several emblems of English national sports teams (although with altered tinctures) and endures as one of the most recognisable national symbols of England.When the Royal Arms are in the format of an heraldic flag, it is variously known as the Royal Banner of England, the Banner of the Royal Arms, the Banner of the King (Queen) of England, or by the misnomer the Royal Standard of England. This Royal Banner differs from England's national flag, the St George's Cross, in that it does not represent any particular area or land, but rather symbolises the sovereignty vested in the rulers thereof.

Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom

The royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, or the Royal Arms for short, is the official coat of arms of the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. These arms are used by the Queen in her official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom. Variants of the Royal Arms are used by other members of the British royal family; and by the British Government in connection with the administration and government of the country. In Scotland, there exists a separate version of the Royal Arms, a variant of which is used by the Scotland Office. The arms in banner form serve as basis for the monarch's official flag, known as the Royal Standard.

In the standard variant used outside of Scotland, the shield is quartered, depicting in the first and fourth quarters the three passant guardant lions of England; in the second, the rampant lion and double tressure flory-counterflory of Scotland; and in the third, a harp for Ireland. The crest is a statant guardant lion wearing the St Edward's Crown, himself on another representation of that crown. The dexter supporter is a likewise crowned English lion; the sinister, a Scottish unicorn. According to legend a free unicorn was considered a very dangerous beast; therefore the heraldic unicorn is chained, as were both supporting unicorns in the royal coat of arms of Scotland.

In the greenery below, a thistle, Tudor rose and shamrock are depicted, representing Scotland, England and Ireland respectively. This armorial achievement comprises the motto, in French, of English monarchs, Dieu et mon Droit (God and my Right), which has descended to the present royal family as well as the Garter circlet which surrounds the shield, inscribed with the Order's motto, in French, Honi soit qui mal y pense (Shame on him who thinks evil).

The official blazon of the Royal Arms is:

Quarterly, first and fourth Gules three Lions passant gardant in pale Or armed and langued Azure (for England), second quarter Or a Lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland), third quarter Azure a Harp Or stringed Argent (for Ireland), the whole surrounded by the Garter; for a Crest, upon the Royal helm the Imperial Crown Proper, thereon a Lion statant gardant Or imperially crowned Proper; Mantling Or and Ermine; for Supporters, dexter a Lion rampant gardant Or crowned as the Crest, sinister a Unicorn Argent armed, crined and unguled Proper, gorged with a Coronet Or composed of Crosses patées and Fleurs-de-lis a Chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or. Motto "Dieu et mon Droit" in the compartment below the shield, with the Union Rose, Shamrock and Thistle engrafted on the same stem.

State Emblem of India

The State Emblem of India, as the national emblem of India is called, is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, preserved in the Sarnath Museum near Varanasi, India. A representation of Lion Capital of Ashoka was initially adopted as the emblem of the Dominion of India in December 1947. The current version of the emblem was officially adopted on 26 January 1950, the day that India became a republic.

Târgoviște

Târgoviște (alternative spelling: Tîrgoviște; Romanian pronunciation: [tɨrˈɡoviʃte]) is a city in Romania, and the county seat of the Dâmbovița County. It is situated on the right bank of the Ialomița. At the 2011 census Târgoviște had a population of 79,610, making it the 26th largest city in Romania. One of the most important cities in the history of Wallachia, it was its capital between the early 15th century and the 16th century.

Officials
Subjects
Charges
of
heraldic
achieve-
ments

(List)

See also
Canting arms
Tinctures
Rules
Tricking
Hatching

(with
black and white
rendering)
External
Applications
See also
Sovereign states
States with limited
recognition
Dependencies and
other entities
Other entities
National flags
National coats of arms

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