Welcome to the Heraldry and Vexillology Portal!
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.
The Shield of the Trinity or Scutum Fidei is a traditional Christian visual symbol which expresses many aspects of the doctrine of the Trinity, summarizing the first part of the Athanasian Creed in a compact diagram. In medieval England and France, this emblem was considered to be the heraldic arms of God (and of the Trinity). The precise origin of this diagram is unknown, but it was evidently influenced by 12th-century experiments in symbolizing the Trinity in abstract visual form, mainly by Petrus Alfonsi's Tetragrammaton-Trinity diagram of ca. 1109.
The Shield of the Trinity diagram is attested from as early as a ca. 1208-1216 manuscript. The diagram was used heraldically from the mid-13th century, when a shield-shaped version of the diagram (not actually placed on a shield) was included among the heraldic shields in Matthew Paris' Chronica Majora, ca. 1250. Allegorical illustrations ca. 1260 show the diagram placed on a shield. The period of its most widespread use was during the 15th and 16th centuries, when it is in found in a number of English and French manuscripts, books, stained-glass windows and ornamental carvings. (more...)
The Red Ensign of Singapore is a civil ensign used by privately-owned, non-military ships that are registered in Singapore. The overall design of the ensign is a modification of the national flag, with the ratio of the width to the length extended to 1:2. The ensign was created by law in 1966. The use of this ensign is regulated by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). According to the MPA, the Red Ensign is the only ensign to be used on Singaporean civilian ships, and the national flag is not an acceptable substitute. The ensign must be hoisted on all Singaporean ships on entering or leaving port. (more...)
Marcela Mariño de Agoncillo (June 24, 1860 – May 30, 1946), also simply known as Marcela Agoncillo, was a Filipina renowned in Philippine history as the principal seamstress of the first and official flag of the Philippines, gaining her the title of Mother of the Philippine Flag.
After finishing her studies at Sta. Catalina College, Agoncillo married Filipino lawyer and jurist Don Felipe Agoncillo. When her husband was exiled to Hong Kong during the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution, Agoncillo and the rest of the family joined him and temporarily resided there to avoid the anti-Filipino hostility of some foreign countries. While in Hong Kong, General Emilio Aguinaldo requested her to sew a flag that would represent their country. Agoncillo, her eldest daughter and a friend manually sewed the flag in accordance with General Aguinaldo's design which later became the official flag of the Philippines. (more...)
The hatchment of Monsignor Leo-Karel Jozef De Kesel, auxiliary bishop of Ghent. The mitre, cross, crosier and green galero with six tassels, all features of ecclesiastical heraldry, indicate his office of bishop.
Did you know...
- ...that the Alamogordo Museum of History owns a rare 47-star U.S. flag, thought to have been made in 1912 to celebrate the entry of New Mexico into the United States?
- ...that artist Corwin Clairmont designed the Salish-Kootenai's tribal seal when he was 15 and it is still used today?
- ...that the Dering Roll begins with the coats of arms of two illegitimate sons of King John of England?
- ...that the Flag of El Hatillo Municipality, Miranda uses the same colours as the flag of Venezuela, though in a different order?
- ...that the Karavas were the only Sri Lankan community traditionally entitled to use flags?
Heraldry Web resources
- Belgium - The Council of Nobility, Flemish Heraldic Council and Council of Heraldry and Vexillology of the French Community
- Canada - Canadian Heraldic Authority and see also Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges
- England, Wales, and Northern Ireland - The College of Arms
- Ireland - The Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland
- Netherlands - High Council of Nobility
- Portugal - Instituto da Nobreza Portuguesa
- Scotland - The Court of the Lord Lyon
- South Africa - South African Bureau of Heraldry
- Sweden - National Board of Heraldry, The National Archive
- United States Army - The United States Army Institute of Heraldry
- Greek Heraldry Society
- The Academy of Heraldic Science Czech republic
- The American College of Heraldry
- The American Heraldry Society
- The Augustan Society
- The Australian Heraldry Society Inc.
- Bulgarian Heraldry and Vexillology Society
- The Center for Research of Orthodox Monarchism
- Cambridge University Heraldic and Genealogical Society
- Chiltern Heraldry Group
- The College of Dracology
- Croatian Heraldic and Vexillologic Association
- The Finnish Heraldic Society
- Fryske Rie foar Heraldyk
- Hellenic Armigers Society
- Guild of Heraldic Artists
- Genealogical Society of Ireland
- Heraldry Research Institute (Japan)
- The Heraldry Society
- The Heraldry Society of Africa
- The Heraldry Society of New Zealand Inc.
- The Heraldry Society of Scotland
- The Heraldry Society of Southern Africa
- The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies
- The International Association of Amateur Heralds
- Italian Center of Vexillological Studies
- Lancashire Heraldry Group
- Macedonian Heraldry Society
- New England Historic Genealogical Society Committee on Heraldry
- Norwegian Heraldry Society
- Oxford University Heraldry Society
- Polish Heraldry Society
- Polish Nobility Confederation
- Real Academia Matritense de Heráldica y Genealogía - Royal Academy of Heraldry and Genealogy of Madrid
- Romanian Institute for Genealogy and Heraldry
- The Royal Heraldry Society of Canada
- The Russian College of HeraldryThe Russian College of Heraldry
- Serbian Heraldic Society
- Societas Heraldica Scandinavica
- Societas Heraldica Slovenica
- Swedish Heraldic Society
- Ukrainian Heraldry Society
- Royal Association Genealogical and Heraldic Office of Belgium
- Coat of Arms Visual Designer web-based program
- Puncher Heraldry Program
- Blazonry Server - pyBlazon
- DrawShield - creates SVG shield or arms image from blazon
- CoaMaker - web-based tool
- Blazon95 and BLAZONS! 2000, older Windows applications
- Heraldry, historical and popular : with seven hundred illustrations (1863)
- A Complete Guide to Heraldry (1909)
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