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Middle Ages Coat of Arms

There is something beautiful and spooky about the Middle Ages coat of arms: when people see them, they think of fighting knights, royalty, and the Crusades. The truth is, the tradition behind having a coat of arms has been around for quite some time – centuries even – and the work is really incredible. Keep reading below about Middle Ages coat of arms to find out how they originated, what they mean, and more.

Middle Ages Coat of Arms

What Is a Coat of Arms?

Think of a coat of arms as a “motto” for a group of people – a family or a group that is working together to achieve something, such as in a battle or some sort. A coat of arms is a shield that has a special patterning on it that is clear, meaningful, and often doesn’t even involve words. They are symbols you can recognize quickly and can be used to represent individual members of a family, a specific portion of a large family, nobility, and social rank within a feudal or royal system, or other social class elements.

They are often brightly colored with strong images emblazoned on them: lions, tigers, swords, horses, and other elements that follow with themes of strength, permanence, and character. They are also often images that represent where an individual is from and what kind of power they hold over others.

Where Did Coat of Arms Come From?

Coat of arms have been used in armor for centuries – first among lords in feudal civilizations. This allowed people to recognize one another on the battle field, since their armor covered their bodies and faces. Social classes could easily be recognized on a coat of arms, which is a critical reason why they have been popular for such a long time. People who were related to one another used similar patterns and, over time, a clear structure and pattern was produced so that there was consistency.

This European tradition is now recognized all around the world, although it is used less in battle practice and more as a way of keeping lineages and history alive. Royal families today treasure these symbols and use them in all sorts of formal events and documentation today.

Middle Ages Coat of Arms

Coats of arms have a special structure. At the top and bottom could be mottos of a family. Then, in the middle, there is the field where there are symbols, the ordinaries, the common charges, and the shield. On the sides are supporter images. At the top are many more elements - the crest, the terse, the mantling, the helm, and the cornet. The compartment and order are also elements of the coat of arms you may find at the bottom of the coat of arms.

More Information about Coat of Arms in the Middle Ages

You might be surprised to know there is very little upper-level regulation for these symbols, but they are quite consistently recognized and changes have been well documented over the centuries. What was once a tradition used to separate enemies from friends has become a way to understand how we are related to one another and to get a grasp on history.

It can be fun to look into the past and see if your family had a coat of arms, tracing your genetics and history back to the Middle Ages. You can do this research on your own or you can hire a professional who can take care of the difficult research for you. There is a lot of information out there to be learned about coat of arms, even though people now know quite a great deal about what these symbols have represented over the ages. To learn more about Middle Ages coat of arms, speak with a historian who can share more about the symbolism behind these beautiful, and functional, works of art.