The History of Heraldry: How Coat of Arms Came to Be
Heraldry, the practice of creating and using coat of arms, has a rich history dating back to medieval times. These symbols, which often include animals, colors, and patterns, have been used to represent and identify families and individuals for centuries. In this article, we’ll explore the history of heraldry and how coat of arms came to be.
The origins of heraldry can be traced back to medieval times. During this period, knights and nobles used coat of arms as a way to identify themselves on the battlefield. These symbols were often simple and easy to recognize, such as a red shield with a white stripe.
Development of Heraldry
As time passed, heraldry became more complex and sophisticated. In the 12th century, the College of Arms was established in England to regulate the use of coat of arms. This organization was responsible for creating and maintaining records of all coats of arms, as well as providing guidance on the use of symbols and colors.
Heraldry in Battle
In medieval times, coat of arms were used in battle to identify friend from foe. Knights would often wear their coat of arms on their shield or surcoat (a garment worn over armor) to make them easily recognizable. This allowed them to fight alongside their comrades and avoid friendly fire.
Heraldry in Peacetime
As the use of heraldry spread, it also became a symbol of status and prestige in peacetime. The wealthy and powerful used their coat of arms to display their wealth and power, and it was common for them to be displayed on buildings, tombs, and even on everyday items such as plates and cups.
Today, the practice of heraldry has evolved and is mainly used for ceremonial and decorative purposes. Many countries, cities, and organizations have their own coat of arms, which are used on flags, buildings, and other official documents. And, many individuals and families still use their coat of arms as a symbol of their heritage and identity.
Heraldry, the practice of creating and using coat of arms, has a rich history dating back to medieval times. Initially used in battle to identify friend from foe, it then became a symbol of status and prestige in peacetime. Today, heraldry is mainly used for ceremonial and decorative purposes and it’s an important part of family heritage and identity. Understanding the history of heraldry can provide valuable insights into the evolution of these symbols and their significance in the past and present.