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  • A coat of arms is a distinctive heraldic design on a tunic used to cover and protect armor, but the term is more broadly applied to mean a full heraldic (heraldry: the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol) achievement which consists of a shield and certain accessories. In either sense, the design is a symbol unique to a person, family, corporation, or state. Such displays are also commonly called armorial bearings, armorial devices, heraldic devices, or arms.
  • Historically, armorial bearings were first used by feudal lords and knights in the mid-12th century on battlefields as a way to identify allied from enemy soldiers. Initially, those closest to the lords and knights adopted arms. Other ecclesiastical dignities adopted coats of arms, usually to be used as seals and other such insignia, and then towns and cities to likewise seal and authenticate documents. The widespread assumption of arms led some states to regulate heraldry within their borders. However, in most of continental Europe, citizens freely adopted armorial bearings.
heraldic colors
Heraldic Colors:

Yellow or Gold - GenerosityWhite or Silver - Peace & SincerityBlack - Constancy (& sometimes Grief)Blue - Loyalty & TruthfulnessRed - Military Fortitude & MagnanimityGreen - Hope, Joy & sometimes LoyaltyPurple - Royal Majesty, Sovereignty & Justice

heraldic symbols
Heraldic Symbols:

Axe - DutifulBridge - (signifies a governor or magistrate)Crescent - EnlightenmentCrosses - Christian sentimentsCrown - AuthorityFire - ZealFlaming Heart - PassionFleur-de-lys (stylized Iris flower) - Purity (associated with France)Hand - Faith, Sincerity & JusticeHeart - SincerityHorns & Antlers - FortitudeLightning - DecisivenessMoon - SerenityOyster Shell - TravelerRing - FidelityScepter - JusticeStar - NobilitySun - GlorySword - WarlikeTower or Castle - Fortitude & Protectiveness

heraldic animals
Heraldic Animals:

Bear - ProtectivenessBee - IndustriousnessCamel - PerseveranceDog - LoyaltyDouble Eagle & Eagle - Leadership & DecisivenessDragon - Defender of TreasureFalcon or Hawk - EagernessFox - ClevernessGriffin (part eagle, part lion) - BraveryHorse - Readiness to ServeLion - CouragePelican - Generosity & DevotionRaven - ConstancySnake - AmbitionStag, Elk or Deer - Peace & HarmonyTiger - Fierceness & ValorUnicorn - Extreme courageWolf - Constant Vigilance

  • Cadency is any systematic way of distinguishing similar coats of arms belonging to members of the same family. Cadency is necessary in heraldic systems in which a given design may be owned by only one person (or, in some cases, one man) at once. Because heraldic designs may be inherited, the arms of members of a family will usually be similar to the arms used by its oldest surviving member (called the "plain coat"). They are formed by adding marks called brisures, similar to charges but smaller. Brisures are generally exempt from the rule of tincture.
coat of arms of spain
Coat of Arms of Spain

The coat of arms appears in the flag of Spain.

The Spanish coat of arms symbolizes

the country, the old kingdoms of

Spain, the Royal Crown, the

Imperial Crown, the

Constitutional monarchy,

the Spanish national motto:

Plus Ultra, and the Pillars of

Hercules with the Spanish

geographic situation.

c oat of arms of colombia
Coat of arms of Colombia

The coat of arms contains a shield with numerous

symbols. Perched on top of the

shield is an Andean

Condor holding an olive

crown and the condor

Symbolizing freedom.

The National motto,

Libertad y Orden, is on

a scroll in between the

bird and the shield.

gallery of coat of arms
Gallery of Coat of Arms