family coat of arms, endowment, German DWR registration, HEROLD association, ecclesiastical heraldry, certificate, crest sculpture, family tree, genealogy table, name interpretation, individual consultation

Mikulas Krejcik z Radimovic

heraldist MdH and graduated painter
Working since 1990 in the field of Heraldry

english deutsch Ťeskż

Heraldry is a piece of the European cultural heritage and with it a part of the European identity


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The word "Heraldry" = "coat of arms teaching" is derived from the term "herald" . Whichevalved from the old Germanic words "hariowisio", "hariowald" for a person who knows symbols of the gods and ancestries. Nowaday heraldry belongs to historical subsidiary sciences. It involves the following three areas:

The origins of the coat of arms can be found in ancient history. Already in the antiquity warriors and particularly arm commanders would wear different signs and figures. Also the old Greeks decorated their shields different animals, such as lions, horses, dogs or birds. The legions and cohorts of the Roman Empire also had their own symbols and insignia among which the eagle had the highest importance. Then in the Middle Ages ruling houses selected their own symbols. To distinguish combatants in battles, their shields were decorated with colours and symbols. Nevertheless, untill the middle of the 12th century these coats of arms were worn just by few individuals. Only with the first crusade (in 1096-1099) and afterwards hereditary signs became popolar and widely used. Nowadays the heraldry can be found in different areas of life: in state and local district ssigns, in Roman-Catholic church, in associations, clubs an communities, in ancestry and individuals (e.g. the granting of personal nobility). These web sites are primarily focused on family coats of arms. Therefore, the abouve mentioned areas will be discussed.


Proportions in modern heraldry

The coat of arms art: The heraldic style of family coat of arms is determinded by the need that the coats of arms be easily recognized on longer distance. A shield should be clerly recognizable on about 200 steps. Contrast of heraldic colours helps recogniye the coat of arms. Hence, colour rules require distinguish metal and colour. Gold an silver serve as metals, possibly substituted by yellow and white. As colours used in heraldry are black, green, blue and red. Relative proportions of the parts of the coat of arms should also be respected. The proportions have changed several times during the centuries. The modern heraldry applies the rule that the helmet should be located roughly in the middle of the coat of arms. Practically it means the following proportions: shield 3 parts, helmet 2 parts and crest 3 parts.

The coat of arms teaching: Like in other sciences and professions, a special jargon language evolved in the heraldry. The main purpose of the heraldic jargon is a short apt description (blazoning) of the coat of arms. It ist not necessary to specify if the coat of arms is triangular or round because the form is arbitrary and depends on the style in which the coat of arms should be shown. For the helmet is should be merely specified whether is crowned or crested. The helmet covers are naturally suposeds have a colour ourside an a metal inside. It is needless to mention sign figures are turned to the right, because is a regular position. A full coat of arms (i.e. the sign and the upper coat of arms, consisting of helmet, helmet covers and crest) should be blazoned in the following order. One should always begin with the description of the sign, announcing the colour first. The blazoning begins with the right upper corner of the sign and continuesd to the lower left sign edge. After the description of the field, the names of sowed figures possibly scattered in the field should be specified following by central figures. Only after the entire description of the sign, colours of helmet covers and a possibly of wreath are named and the crest is blazoned. In the end, any heraldic splendour pieces (shield holder, coat of arms coats follows etc.) and election slogans are introduced.

The coat of arms right: The cout of the right provides an exclusive competence in the guidance of this heraldic sign to its owner like with other marking rights. The owner can exclude any person that is not authorized by this right. The object of the right can be only such a heraldic sign which complies customary heraldic rules (which means ist casnnot be an arbitrary imgination product) and wich is really used as coat of arms not just an artwork without any sign function). Hence, publication of the coat of arms with an emphasis of the intent to use this sign as a coat of arms is necessary. The right to use the family coat of arms is inherited to all male descendants of the owner, provided that is an ancestral coat of arms hereditary in man trunk.

A family coat of arms can be acuired either

Source: Extract from the "Wappenfibel - Handbuch der Heraldik", ("coat of arms primer - manual of the heraldry"), published by the HEROLD association, 19th edition, 2002, copyright by Verlag Degener + Co

Finally warning: Persons having accidentally the same surname as the holder of coat of arms are not permitted to use this coat of arms. Only if undoubtedly certain by sturdy (genealogical) proofs that a person is related by blood with the coat of arms-leading family, the guidance of this coat of arms is permitted. Comfort or pride are always incerior to the valid coat of arms right. Unfortunately, there are people over and over again, trying to elude this juridical principle. Sadly I had to ascertain this attempt once even with a beginning German judge.

Last updated 12/14/2017

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