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Welcome to the Heraldry and Vexillology Portal!

Flags of the Nordic countries
A herald wearing a tabard

Vexillology (from the Latin vexillum, a flag or banner) is the scholarly study of flags, including the creation and development of a body of knowledge about flags of all types, their forms and functions, and of scientific theories and principles based on that knowledge. Flags were originally used to assist military coordination on the battlefield, and have evolved into a general tool for signalling and identification, particularly identification of countries.

Heraldry encompasses all of the duties of a herald, including the science and art of designing, displaying, describing and recording coats of arms and badges, as well as the formal ceremonies and laws that regulate the use and inheritance of arms. The origins of heraldry lie in the medieval need to distinguish participants in battles or jousts, whose faces were hidden by steel helmets.

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Coat of Arms of the Basque Country

The current Coat of arms of the Basque Country is the official coat of arms of the Basque Country, Autonomous community of Spain. It consists of a party per cross representing the three historical territories of Álava, Guipuscoa and Biscay, as well as a fourth, void quarter. The arms are ringed by a regal wreath of oak leaves, symbolic of the Gernikako Arbola, the fourth quarter once constituted the linked chains of Navarre; however, following a legal suit by the Navarre Government claiming that the usage of the arms of a region on the flag of another was illegal, the Constitutional Court of Spain bound to remove the chains of Navarre in a judgment of 1986. (more...)

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Flag of Kosovo

The flag of the Republic of Kosovo was adopted by the Assembly of Kosovo immediately following the declaration of independence of the Republic of Kosovo from Serbia on 17 February 2008. The flag is the result of an international design competition, organized by the United Nations-backed Kosovo Unity Team, which attracted 993 entries. Under the terms of the contest, all entries had to reflect the multi-ethnic nature of Kosovo, avoiding the use of the double-headed eagle or the use of solely red and black or red, blue and white color schemes, the now-used design is a variant of one proposal designed by Muhamer Ibrahimi. It shows six white stars in an arc above a golden map of Kosovo on a blue field, the stars symbolize Kosovo's six major ethnic groups. (more...)

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Arms of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth

The tradition and practice of heraldry in Poland dates from the 13th century, although influenced by French and German heraldic practice, differs in a number of respects. One of the most striking is that a coat of arms does not belong to a single family. Many, sometimes hundreds of unrelated families may use a single coat of arms, each coat of arms also has its own name. One side-effect of this unique arrangement was that it became customary to refer to members of the nobility (Polish: Szlachta) by both their family name and the name of their coat of arms. (more...)

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Great Coat of Arms of the Russian Empire from 1800

The Coat of arms of the Russian Empire according to the "Manifesto On Full Blazon of All-Russian Empire", presented to Emperor on October 13, 1800.

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William Peyton as Delhi Herald Extraordinary in 1911

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