Portal:Heraldry

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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 Singapore

The coat of arms of Singapore is the heraldic symbol representing the Southeast Asian island nation of Singapore, it was adopted in 1959, the year Singapore became self-governing within the British Empire. At the centre of the emblem is a red shield bearing a white crescent (a new moon, representing a rising young nation) and five white stars (representing various national ideals including multiculturalism). While the use of the coat of arms is restricted to the government, the symbol enjoys wide use on the national currency and state decorations, and appears on the cover of the national passport.(more...)

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The original Eureka Flag

The Eureka Flag is a design which features: a dark blue field 260 x 400 cm (2:3.08 ratio); a horizontal stripe 37 cm wide and a vertical line crossing it of 36 cm wide; and 5 eight pointed stars, the central star being 65 cm tall (point to point) and the other stars 60 cm tall, representing the Crux Australis constellation. The design was first used for the war flag of the Eureka Rebellion of 1854 at Ballarat in Victoria, Australia.

The flag design has gained wider notability due to its adoption in Australian culture as a symbol of democracy, protest and other causes. It is listed as an object of state heritage significance on the Victorian Heritage Register and was named as a Victorian Icon by the National Trust in 2006. (more...)

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Two heralds at the funeral of King Johan III from 1594

Swedish heraldry refers to the cultural tradition and style of heraldic achievements in modern and historic Sweden. It belongs culturally to the German-Nordic heraldic tradition, noted for its multiple helmets and crests which are treated as inseparable from the shield, repetition of colours and charges between the shield and the crest, and its scant use of heraldic furs. Swedish heraldry is similar to Danish heraldry; both were heavily influenced by German heraldry. The medieval history of the Nordic countries was closely related, so they developed their heraldic individuality rather late. Swedish and Finnish heraldry have a shared history prior to the Diet of Porvoo in 1809. Unlike the macaronic and highly stylized English blazon, Swedish heraldry is described in plain language, using only Swedish terminology.

In Sweden today, the official coats of arms of corporations and government offices are protected by Swedish law, if the coat of arms is registered with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office. Heraldic arms of common citizens (burgher arms), however, are less strictly controlled; these are recognised by inclusion in the annually published Scandinavian Roll of Arms. (more...)

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