The practice of bearing an individual coat of arms reaches back to the 12th century. In the confusion of battle, knights in armour could only be identified by the markings on their defensive shields.

Such markings were entrusted to officials known as Heralds, who created and recorded armorial bearings and regulated their allocation. The written records are technically known as BLAZONS.

Most blazons have three components: ARMS, CREST & MOTTO.

In medieval times the arms were borne on the knight’s defensive shield – the crest on his battle helmet. Mottoes often originated as a war cry. As our diagram explains, the coat of arms is SEPARATE and DISTINCT from the crest. Our wall shields and parchments display, in addition to the arms, the crest and motto where such exist.

What does Heraldry mean?

It is known that hundreds of different symbols exist in today’s history. With a high number like this there are many different symbols representing specific meaning. Each one of those symbols have specific colors that represent different meanings. Lines and furs are also one of the additional symbolic meanings.

What are the rules of Heraldry?

Every coat of arms needs to be different and represent specific meaning. This means that unique design is one of the most important rules of Heraldry and the first one.

Coat of arms should be clearly visible from a distance. This tells us that having bigger elements will improve seeing symbols and shapes from longer distances. Use of smaller designs on coats of arms is not recommended.

Coat of arms shield needs to be covered entirely with the shape of design. This means that no empty spaces should be left out. By fitting the design into the entire coat of arms it makes emblems much easier to see from rule number two.

Why are Heraldic symbols important?

Looking back at history, medieval heraldry appeared somewhere around the 1100s. With wars fought, knights and soldiers equipment being improved, knights started wearing helmets, shields, and heavy body armor it was important that everyone can recognize them by looking at their heraldry symbols as their entire body was covered up from armor and helmet it was hard to know on which side they were. They would wear symbols that would represent their kingdom, territory, royal level, usually by adding specific animals, colors and shapes. One of the places where these heraldic symbols could be seen early in the 12th century is on battle tournaments. To explore more and find different symbols we recommend visiting our heraldic shop page.

What are the origins of the Heraldry?

Heraldry originated in a place of the following countries such as French, England and Germany mostly but some proofs can be found in Spain and Italy. While the exact location is not known, the biggest evidence can be found in northern Europe in the mid-12th century. Remainings from this period are mostly from knights, princes, kings and other high royals.

At House of Names you can find various heraldic products and have them specially personalized for your family. Our products are made with a personal touch that includes painting. Get to know your family name and order your crest today!