Talk:Coat of arms

Latest comment: 6 years ago by Clydetheglide9 in topic Grammatical Errors
Former good article nomineeCoat of arms was a History good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There may be suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Should discuss unusual phenomenon of rare Japanese armigers, such as the current Emperor. -- (talk) 18:35, 6 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Though a coat of arms certainly has to do with heraldry, I think it deserves its own article. jheijmans

I did consider the option of renaming the Heraldry page to Coat of arms as this is all it currently covers. One definition (which I would concur with) is

The art or office of a herald; the art, practice, or science of recording genealogies, and blazoning arms or ensigns armorial; also, of marshaling cavalcades, processions, and public ceremonies. Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc. User:Rjstott

  • "Experts" NEVER use the term "Coat of Arms" when they could use Armorial Bearings! Skull 'n' Femurs 16:00, 30 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is simply false. What I suspect you mean is that when they're feeling in a formal mood they tend to write "armorial bearings." But in everyday speech and writing, they use "coat of arms" or (even more frequently) "arms" as shorthand all the time: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] etc., etc. Doops | talk 18:45, 30 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
User Doopshas validated my point, above, by trying to refute it. All the references cited are “magazine” or “brochure” style pages. The articles in Wikipedia form a more formal encyclopedia and should use a more formal style. "Experts" NEVER use the term "Coat of Arms" when they could use Armorial Bearings in a formal context, such as here in the Wikipedia. "Arms" may well be used, if referenced or defined - when first used - to replace of the continuous use of “Armorial Bearings”. "The origin of the Coat of Arms was a jacket or tabard worn by a mediaeval Knight over his armour in order to identify himself. Nowadays the expression "Coat of Arms" is generally applied to what is officially called an "Achievement", which consists of various parts: a shield, helmet, mantling, wreath, crest, motto and sometimes supporters and decorations." [6] Now here, "generally applied" is not in a more formal context, such as a Wikipedia article. Talk   Skull 'n' Femurs 10:24, 2 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, then, I misunderstood your point. Sorry. I thought you were trying to imply that the phrase "coat of arms" is somehow wrong. It isn't. We should reserve our opprobrium for things (like "crest of arms") which are actually out-and-out wrong.
I think, too, that you're overestimating the informality of "coat of arms." It's not tee-shirt-and-jeans informal; it's shirt-and-tie informal. If the wikipedia changed every instance of "arms" or "coat of arms" to "armorial bearings" it would be dressing up in white-tie-and-tails formal, which is overkill, even for the wikipedia. You're right, of course, that heralds use "arms" more often than "coat of arms" — "arms" is shorter! In for a penny, in for a pound. Doops | talk 10:31, 2 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
By the way, it was silly that "armorial bearings" didn't appear in the page and didn't redirect here. I've fixed that now. Doops | talk 10:37, 2 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Crest of arms?Edit

I suggested a while back that coat of arms is also sometimes referred to as crest of arms, but an editor refuted my claim (edit summary was: "crest of arms? there aint no such thing!"), but apparently Coat of arms is sometimes referred to as such[7]. I intend to re-introduce this into the article – but I'll will wait pending input from others. What ya reckon? / Ezeu 19:35, 30 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

S/he's right; there ain't such a thing. A crest is a very specific thing, and the word is very often misued to mean something it doesn't. Like so many others, the Elmbridge council could use a vocabulary lesson. Of course the wikipedia needs to cater to all, even the misinformed, not ignore misconceptions incompletely; which is why there are notices on crest and heraldry and this page to help people learn what "crest" actually means. Doops | talk 21:35, 30 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the clarification. I have edited the article accordingly. / Ezeu 21:53, 30 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is this a joke? The article is a tiny little stub right now. It includes absolutely no obscure information; everything in it is common knowledge. I can gladly add references for the sake of "further reading" or suchlike; but it's impossible to cite sources for my latest rewrite since the source is me! Doops | talk 18:17, 1 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Opening ¶Edit

Hi. Here's the opening ¶ under the preferred version of User: Skull 'n' Femurs:

A coat of arms - properly called a Heraldic Achievement, or less formally Armorial Bearings or just Arms - is also often wrongly called a crest of arms. In European tradition it is a set of colourful symbols with origins in the designs used by mediaeval knights to make their armor and shield stand out in battle or tournaments and enable quick recognition.

The main problem with this is that it takes a question of terminology and makes it the centerpiece of the article. The article isn't about terminology (or at least it shouldn't be); it's about COATS OF ARMS. Therefore the first sentence should, like practically every other article, define it. The first ¶ should lay out the situation as clearly and legibly as possible. We have to remember the reader first and foremost.

Additionally, I do not see the need to work "achievement" into the first sentence. The 2nd ¶ already makes quite clear what a heraldic achievement is and when that phrase is and is not synonomous with "arms" and "coats of arms." Insofar as this is an issue, the article cannot help involving itself in terminology; and it is important that we helpe the reader to navigate that minefield. But again, simplicity and clarity should be our watchword.

Finally, let me repeat what I said earlier up this page — in your obsession, Skulls n' Femurs, with "armorial bearings" and "heraldic achievements" you're trying to become more 'correct than the experts'. That has two problems: as a matter of style, it makes the wikipedia look forbidding and uptight; as a matter of substance, it might leave the reader with the misapprehension that "arms" and "coat of arms" are somehow wrong, which they aren't. Doops | talk 23:22, 6 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oversweepingly broad statementEdit

In some heraldic traditions (such as the Scottish) it is basically true that coats of Arms are individual possessions which can be passed down through more than one generation in the line of heirs (usually the eldest sons), but it is NOT true in other traditions (such as the English, where many cousins of the same surname can have identical coats of arms). The article page should reflect this. AnonMoos 20:22, 1 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No. both England and Scotland require differencing of arms for younger sons. Scotland's system is complicated and comprehensive, specifying several generations' worth of of changes involving borders, color changes, changes of lines to wavy/embattled/engrailed/etc. England's system is much simpler: there are specific charges which younger sons add to their arms; after a few generations the pile up of cadency marks (as they are called) becomes unbearable and the person applies for a fresh set of arms for his cadet branch (usually based on / related to his ancestral arms). But cousins should never have identical arms in either place. Doops | talk 21:25, 1 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Unfortunately, that happens not to be the case. The English system has a set of cadency marks (for the FIRST son as well as for other sons), which can be used to distinguish the arms of sons (as individuals) from those of their father (particularly when the father is still alive), if desired; and these cadency marks have been used on some occasions to differentiate between different branches of a family. But cadency marks are by no means obligatory, and patrilineal cousins quite frequently have the same set of arms. Furthermore, in the Polish system, minor nobility families with dozens of different surnames can all have exactly the same coat of arms. AnonMoos 17:19, 2 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


As I (mis)understand the history, the "coat of arms" is so called because it was painted or embroidered on a cloth tunic worn over metal armor to keep the sun off; this "coat" had the same design as the shield. The word coat is also used for the components of an impaled or quartered shield, and the article ought to mention this somewhere. —Tamfang 07:30, 16 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

flexible standardsEdit

Someone seriously wrote that the "coats of arms" of France and Italy are more heraldic than that of the USA? —Tamfang 07:40, 16 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Do you suggest it is otherwise? Is there an American heraldic standard? Kittybrewster 22:27, 18 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suggest that the US Great Seal has a blazonable shield with a supporter and the "coats of arms" of Italy and France resemble heraldry about as much as the jar of pens on my desk. —Tamfang 23:24, 18 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All three of them are about as heraldic as my pants, perhaps the Italian and Usonian more so than the French. —Nightstallion (?) 09:42, 20 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Um, exactly where was this statement supposed to have been made? I looked at the last version of the article before your edit, and could find no comparison made between the arms of the US and those of France or Italy. What I saw was a statement that France and Italy had arms, even though they are no longer monarchies. --EncycloPetey 04:53, 21 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It said the ex-monarchies "retain" coats of arms, which is false of Italy and France (though true, more or less, of Hungary and Croatia); and that the USA Seal is "not an armorial achievement". The comparison is created by the juxtaposition. —Tamfang 05:11, 21 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since the two topics appeared in separate paragraphs, I expect that the statements were written at different times by different individuals, and were not intended to be juxtaposed. In any case, the new text dodges this problem. --EncycloPetey 09:34, 21 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External link removal?Edit

The external link at the bottom links to a program for Win95. Surely that's very old and should be removed? →bjornthegreat t|c 12:52, 21 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Helmet#Sovereign - Kittybrewster 13:33, 17 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]'ll have to be a bit more clear on the purpose of this edit. The link that you've pointed to is very Britannocentric in its explanation of heraldic helmets, but I cannot determine why you put it here.--Eva bd 15:09, 17 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure it's practical to list the format in each country but an example is not a bad thing. Perhaps it would be best to add 'for example in the UK the coronets were' Alci12 16:32, 17 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A query was raised by a French User as to the appropriate helm for a Baronet. I was surprised it was not covered by - it is now. - Kittybrewster 20:39, 17 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Coats of Arms and Fair UseEdit

If I want to include the coat of arms of a family in an article in wikipedia, do I need to get the permission of the family? Does fair use apply? Anyways, in the US is ownership of really old coats of arms even recognized? nadav 05:50, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would that that would fall in the guidelines of Fair Use if you are using the coat of arms to illustrate that family only.--Eva bd 14:26, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A particular representation of a coat of arms may be under copyright; but if you re-draw the coat yourself, or use your own photograph of a public display, you're in the clear. —Tamfang 06:01, 3 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good point.--Eva bd 13:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


For some reason, this page has been attracting a lot of IP vandalism. Maybe it's time for Wikipedia:Semiprotection. nadav 08:22, 26 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I listed it on Wikipedia:Requests for page protection, and it will be semiprotected for 5 days. nadav 12:16, 28 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When arms are in a circle, what is it?Edit

Can anyone confirm what is the correct description of this i.e. used here for the Royal Greenwich Hospital, Thanks! Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 18:37, 27 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In rare cases a blazon will specify the precise shape of the shield; but usually that is left up to the heraldic artist's discretion. Most commonly, this flexibility allows for standard mediaeval-looking "heater" shields or more florid baroque forms (chosen according to context-appropriateness); but I see no reason why this circular depiction couldn't also be an extreme example of artistic license. On the other hand, it's also possible that this photo actually shows not an oddly-shaped escutcheon but rather a badge, which would be blazoned something like this: on a roundel argent, a crown or on a cross gules between four anchors of the second. Doops | talk 18:52, 27 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's what I thought- thanks! It's just that the heraldic badge doesn't say anything specifically about "round" badges. Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 21:07, 27 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The heraldic badge article is right now a pretty pathetic stub. Suffice it to say that badges consisting of stuff on a roundel are relatively common. (Incidentally, in my blazon above I forgot that another name for a roundel arguent is a plate which could have saved me a little typing.) Doops | talk 21:11, 27 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you think we should redirect to Badge and add the heraldic info there as the two things are clearly connected? Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 21:49, 27 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No. There ought to be a link, and perhaps a section on the badge article explaining the historical connection, but heraldic badges are personal insignia, whereas modern badges are typically linked to an office or rank. There is enough of a difference that the articles should remain separate. --EncycloPetey 23:42, 27 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Subject to the small cavil that some offices do indeed have heraldic badges associated with them, Encyclopetey is absolutely right -- the heraldic badge article may be weak now but it definitely has the scope to be an important article someday. Doops | talk 00:59, 28 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Outside of the Society for Creative Anachronism I've only seen one representation of badges on roundels: it's figure 822 in The Art of Heraldry (p.334), "The Stafford Badges as exemplified in 1720 to William Stafford Howard, Earl of Stafford" – and none of those has an ordinary throughout. Usually badges have no field. I think what we have here is simply a shield bent into a circle for convenience. The Royal Arms are sometimes put on a round shield to fit neatly within the Garter. (But I'll read up on badges tomorrow.) —Tamfang 08:10, 28 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Assuming the website knows what it is talking about (which of course it might not), here are the badges of some English and Welsh counties and boroughs; about half of them involve some sort of roundel. (But of course you're right to say, as I said above, that the image could just show arms bent into a circle.) Doops | talk 17:19, 28 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And some of those do use some or most elements of the arms of those places in a roundel. Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 15:51, 29 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, but that's silly in my view, and contrary to the whole point of a badge. Doops | talk 16:04, 29 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit by History2007Edit

History2007 is misrepresenting sources, and adding irrelevant information to this article.

  • Item: History2007 says in this edit that "seals and coats of arms were designed to make a good impression and say something about their owners." and attributes this information to an article at the British Museum [8]. The article being cited does not even talk about coats of arms. First of all, the article is about medieval seals, and not about coats of arms. It does not even mention coats of arms. The article does say "Most seals say something about their owners." It does not say that they were "designed" to do this, but rather that modern workers can tell something about the owner from the seal. It clarifies this with the following sentences: "A king, for instance was represented in a very specific way, as was a queen, a bishop or a noble lord and lady." The word "impression" in the article refers to the pressing of a seal into wax, not about making an impression on the viewer. So the source has been thoroughly misrepresented in three ways. —This is part of a comment by EncycloPetey (of 22:37, 7 January 2008 (UTC)), which was interrupted by the following: Reply[reply]
  • Agree, and even if it was properly sourced, it doesn't deserve its own level 2 header, and it definately doesn't deserve to be the opening header. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 03:42, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Item: The latter portion of the article reviews style by geographic region, including the UK, Japan, and regions of continantel Europe with differences in heraldic tradition and style. History2007 insists on adding an entire section devoted to the Vatican, half of the text of which is about one personal set of arms used by Pope John Paul II. These arms should be discussed on a more specific article, not in a general article about Coats of arms. The information added about "Vatican heraldry" is unreferenced, except for the single bit about the origin of Pope John Paul II's armory.—This is part of a comment by EncycloPetey (of 22:37, 7 January 2008 (UTC)), which was interrupted by the following: Reply[reply]
    • That wasn't actually referenced either. The source discussed aspects of Pope John Paul II's life, but did not discuss the coat of arms, or support that the coat of arms intentionally reflected those aspects of his life. Further, it said "popes use personal coats of arms once they are elected", implying that they do not use them before they are elected. Gimmetrow 07:55, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Item: History2007 has added text saying that "According to respected historian Emily J. Hutchison, as early as 1405, John the Fearless began distributing emblems that corresponded directly to his ideology." That's great but it has nothing to do with coats of arms. This fact does not belong in this article, which is about coats of arms. It may be placed on an article about medieval tokens or emblems, but should not appear here.—This is part of a comment by EncycloPetey (of 22:37, 7 January 2008 (UTC)), which was interrupted by the following: Reply[reply]
  • Item: History2007 says: "Valentin Groebner argues that the images composed on coats of arms are in many cases designed to convey a feeling of power and strength, often in military terms." This is one person's opinion, and is at odds with the majority of heraldic scholarship. It also claims "in many cases" without explaining that it is actually a minority of cases that do this. Most arms, especially the oldest ones, are simple geometric designs. Many later ones are canting arms, which pun on the owner's name. Arms were not designed "to convey a feeling of power and strength" in the majority of cases. The idea was held by Victorian-age heralds, but has been repeatedly debunked by later authors.—This is part of a comment by EncycloPetey (of 22:37, 7 January 2008 (UTC)), which was interrupted by the following: Reply[reply]
  • I think this can stay. This is useful information, and it would be more useful if the views that you mentioned were also represented. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 03:42, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Item: History2007 says that "Museums on medieval coat of arms also point out that as emblems they may be viewed as a pre-cursors to the corporate logos of modern society, used for group identity formation." and cites this source. The source, in fact, is not a museum but a travel guide. Worse, it does not say what History2007 claims it does. It does draw an analogy between the medieval arms and the corporate logo, saying that "They were an early version of what we might call today the "logo" or corporate identity". It does not say that they were a precurosr, and does not say that they were used for group identity information. It says they were used for personal identity, like a signature would be.

--EncycloPetey (talk) 22:37, 7 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Agree with the comments about the source, but I think corporate coats of arms - which are not the same as logos - deserve a mention. The evolution of logos and coats of arms was completely separate, but since they're both symbolic, they have a lot in common. The information about Mitsubishi is relevant, even though it's about a logo, because of its history as a mon. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 03:42, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Good, now you are actually using some logic. So we can have a discussion. I do NOT agree with your logic, but this is a starting point for a debate.

The heart of the section I added was about the fact that "coats of arms are not just identification symbols, but intend to convey a message, often of respect, and at times intend to re-inforce an ideology". I can bring in 20 more references that support this fact. It is fact that coats of arms are communication tools as well as identification tools and since the 19th century they have ONLY been communication tools.

A good example was the reference I had from University of Warwick. Every English university has a coat of arms. It is not to identify them in battle, it is to "communicate an image". As for the Pope's coat of arms and its marian symbolism, it was ONLY to communicate a message and an ideology.

I think teh above fact is essential in understanding coats of arms today and deserves to be in the article. I can bring in many references, but you will, within minutes dismiss them, for you have clearly not read teh references I had. Therefore, before deleting the section again, please air your objection to the statements above first. Thanlk you. History2007 (talk) 00:17, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You have replied, but you have not answered any of the objections I noted to your text. You have simply added back the unsupported and irrelevant information. Of the sources you cite that I have followed up on, none contains the cited information or supports your POV. You are still claiming content from the British Museum site that isn't there. Claiming that a reference contains information does not make it true, and certainly not when the cited source does not even address the subject. Adding 20 more citations of sources that don't actually say what you claim will not make any difference. You also did not read my comments above if you think I have "no objection" to the section on the Vatican. It is not I that hasn't read the references. I have read them and quoted them above, but you seem to have missed that fact. Please re-read my comments above and respond to them in the context of the sources you've "cited" instead of simply spouting personal beliefs. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:30, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

P.S. by the way, I assume you are no longer objecting to the sections I wrote on Japan and the Vatican. I guess you may have even learned someting from me in the past 3 days and everytime you see a Mitsubishi logo you will know the crest it came from. So at least some progres is being made History2007 (talk) 00:21, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually, no, I haven't learned anything from your information. I already knew about the Mitsubishi logo from the collection of books I have on Japanese mon. I already knew about John Paul II's arms and symbolism from reading other sources. You are simply coming across as egotistical in making the above assumptions, which do not seem to be substantiated by any evidence. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:33, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PPS Further thought: Perhaps there shoud just be a section on the "modern use of coats of arms" e.g. at univeristies, etc. and that can then include references to the fact that they are now used as communication tools, etc. That may in fact resolve the debate. You can even find those references yourself if you like, for there are plenty out there. Thanks History2007 (talk) 00:49, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am busy for the erst of today probably, but will reply in a day or so. In the meantime, the key question is this: Is there a need here for a section on the "modern use" of coats of arms. Let us settle that issue first. So do you think this article needs to be about medieval times, or is there a place for discussing "modern usage". I think modern usage deserves a section. What do you think of that question first? History2007 (talk) 01:36, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There isn't enough information yet for a whole section on that subject. So it does not deserve a whole section unto itself yet. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:45, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Let me rephrase my question: assuming there is additional information (which I can easily obtain) will it be relevant? Relevance is a key issue you have brought about, so it needs to be addressed. Are coats of arms as defined here ONLY medieval, and is there need for a new article on "Modern coats of arms"? I seems that two articles would be too many for they need to link together, e.g the Mitsubishi case. Hence my guess is that given new information it will be relevant, sice your reply relied on the lack of info. History2007 (talk) 06:11, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First: a clear definitionEdit

Item A
Item B
Item C
Item D
Item G
Item H

I thought a ittle bit more about the issues. It is best to start at the top leve. First, siince you questioned my motives, I asked myself: “Why do I bother to edit this little article on coats of arms anyway?”

Fact 1: Whether this article exits or not makes no difference to my life. I edited it because I was trying to understand coats of arms because it seemed like fun. I do not manufacture coats of arms and make no penny from them. I was just trying to understand them. The Pope's coat of arms made me think of them in the first place. I realized they are communication tools. I had not thought of them before. I was a line of thought that yet remains open.

Fact 2: Wikipedia does NOT help a user understand coats of arms. I still do not know what they are as defined by the article and how they are different from the terms seal and emblem used in the article. Other logically oriented users may have similar questions.

The real test:

Using the guidelines in the article, can a user easily guess which of these symbols on the right are classified by the article as a coat of arms, an emblem or a seal? If so, what is the reasoning therein?

By the way, one of them is listed as neither a coat of arms, nor a seal, nor an emblem but as another term. Can you guess which one without looking at the gallery? Until that issue of a "definition for coat of arms" is resolved the rest of the details have to wait.

My first problem with the current article: How is the term coat of arms (as used) distinguished from seal and emblem? There is an implied answer within the article that a coat of arms has a distinct geometric shape. Namely a seal has a round/circular shape while a coat of arms has a triangular shape like a shield. The article implies that there is a specific European tradition in heraldry that requires specific elements. It seems to me that coat of arms of Switzerland breaks these rules and must be excluded from the gallery. So what are these rules? When does an emblem become a coat of arms?

I can think of a mapping of metric spaces that preserves specific properties to a representative within a congruence class (by the way the congruence class article needs help too, for it misses geometric and algebraic cases!). The Swiss coat of arms seems to have the absolute minimal requirements here. But then all the other emblems and seals in the gallery must be deleted. For instance the emblem of France is clearly NOT a coat of arms. Or is it? And ehat about Indonesia? Will someone clarify this? And visually speaking how is the emblem of Turkey making its way into the gallery? It seems so similar to the Swiss coat of arms, yet it is called an emblem? So how are they different? Is it the pointed edge? The article is not specific or factual here. As for Ethiopia, Japan and the United States, well they are clearly not coats of arms and have no place in the gallery. Hence the gallery needs serious deletions if we are to be logical.

Yet it seems that in fact the three terms “coat of arms”, “seal” and “emblem” have been used as a congruence class within the article. Hence either:

1. The article title needs to change to something new.

2. Many items from the gallery must be deleted.

3. It must be admitted that the terms seal, coat of arms ad emblem are used as a congruence class.

In my mind the only solutions are:

A. A clear answer to the above dilemma a thinking user will have.

B. Many deletions from the gallery.

C. Approach 3, by declaring a congruence class.

The article is in clear need of further explanation and restructuring. Please express your thoughts before we go further. Thank you. History2007 (talk) 06:11, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The base definition of a coat of arms is identifying marks on a shield or a coat for use in battle. Over the centuries, a strict formula has evolved in Europe for representing these on a shield with a helm, crest, and mantle, and anything that uses that formula can also be called a coat of arms, even though it may not have ever been used in battle. Strictly, the term coat of arms refers only to the shield. The full representation is referred to as an armorial achievement. The Japanese custom is included here, because it fits the base definition of a symbol for use of an individual in battle.
Often, national emblems are referred to as coats of arms because they're similar or serve a similar function. The French emblem is not a coat of arms. Quote from the Wikipedia article:
If you're new to the subject, I recommend reading Boutell's Heraldry. The heraldry article is much better than this one if you just want a short review. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 06:52, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Socialist heraldry might also help. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 06:56, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for the link. But if I have to read an external link, that means that the Wikipedia article has failed to inform me. Why don't we "fix the wiki-article" rather than having to go and read soemthing outside. In the end, Wikipedia is intended ot be complete. Right? Now, in your view, what is the rationale for universities using them? Again, thanks for the link History2007 (talk) 07:22, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, it needs to be improved. This article is rated as start-class, which is the lowest rating an article can have if it's not a stub. I gave you that link so you could have more information for editing.
Universities have arms because heraldry is considered an aristocratic art, and universities were originally only attended by the priviledged class. It's more of a tradition than anything else. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 23:42, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for the clarification. I will try to read up on these items. They are interesting. So universities use them as "symbols that communicate status" and I guess in time aristocrats have also used them as "status symbols" rather than just "identification marks" - dare I say the Prada or Giorgio Armani marks of the 18th century? I wondered if anyone had looked into the symbolism used in the archetypal context of Man and His Symbols. I did a search, but found almost nothing. I will look more.... My guess is that there is some underlying mechanism for communicating a message there in, and as discussed before, at times an "ideology", e.g. the university of Glasgow's coat of arms with the open book of knowledge at the top [9] probably tries to emphasize the importance of reading, learning, etc. History2007 (talk) 05:50, 9 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The motto on the bottom of Indonesian coat of arms reads Bhinneka Tunggal Inka. It should reads Bhinneka Tunggal IKA (not inka). Wrong spelling. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:38, 27 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The PopesEdit

I'm not happy with this language:

The Vatican has its own coat of arms, as the Coat of arms of the Holy See. Yet there is an at least 800-year-old tradition for personal Papal coat of arms that goes back to Pope Innocent IV.

This implies that the Papacy is (armorially) special when it isn't. Around eight centuries ago, every person in a position of authority started using a coat of arms. When the office is not hereditary, the arms of the office (if any) and of its occupant are distinct. Let's find other wording. —Tamfang (talk) 02:59, 9 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You could be bold and try and find another way of wording it yourself, as you seem to know a bit about papal heraldry. --DWRtalk 20:30, 11 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Nordic countries" section ends ... then 'Denmark' is mentioned mentioned under the "other countries" section....?????Edit

OK, I'd be able to understand if it were "Scandinavian" countries where the argument may come in that it is not a part of the peninsula, but certainly Denmark is a "Nordic" country, is it not? (talk) 21:23, 3 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Whats the difference between the 3 (emblem, coat of arm, crest) for a nationEdit

I seen there symbols being called these (its the one next to the flag). Is there any real difference between them? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:47, 30 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

An emblem can be any graphic symbol; the word has no specific meaning in heraldry. A coat of arms is what's painted on a shield (called a 'coat' because it was originally also painted on the cloth tunic that a Crusader wore to keep his metal armor from cooking him in the sun). A crest is worn on top of a helm (compare Crested Jay). —Tamfang (talk) 20:20, 3 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


How would you call the blazoned shield in a coat of arms? "Shield" or "escutcheon" refers to the shape and not the content, whereas "coat of arms" includes the motto, the crest, the helmet, etc. Would you use the term "blazon shield", or "shield blazon", or another suggestion? Liam D (talk) 18:50, 19 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not sure what you are asking, but "shield" does not refer to particular shape; it refers to the region of the overall achievement that is represented as if it were a shield. Note also that "blazoned" means "described in the specialized heraldic terms of heralds". --EncycloPetey (talk) 19:04, 19 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I say coat of arms is what you want; the combination of shield, helm etc is the achievement. A quartered shield is commonly said to comprise two or more coats. —Tamfang (talk) 03:25, 21 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Tamfang: the full display is referred to as an achievement, but just the shield with its contents is referred to as a coat of arms, or I have seen it styled a shield of arms if you like. The escutcheon, it might be noted, is not just "the shape", but is the very shield itself. Is there a question about this article's style or content? Wilhelm Meis (Quatsch!) 04:07, 21 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hello? Where is the Holy Roman Empire? Where are the Germanic States? These are the places from which other countries adopted Heraldry! (i.e. Vatican, Japan, Eastern European States, much later USA) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:06, 29 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How about German heraldry? What is it that you want to see here? — I don't buy that Japanese heraldry owes anything much to Germany. —Tamfang (talk) 05:42, 29 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

thirteen stripesEdit

A recent edit removed the word 'improper' from a description of the USA shield, remarking:

It is NOT heraldically improper at all. The blazon carefully avoids saying would be improper by using the term 'Paleways of 13 pieces' instead of the improper 'Paly of 13 pieces'.

Hm. If so, it's backing out of a frying-pan to burn its butt on the fire, because paleways properly describes the position of a charge, not a partition of the field. —Tamfang (talk) 19:12, 17 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The blazon does not say paleways of thirteen argent and gules but paleways of thirteen pieces argent and gules. While not the most common description, with the ambiguous "pieces" rather than palets, it is not incorrect by any means. There are many blazons that use the terms pieces, segments, sections and so forth; all ambiguous, but all correct and acceptable. Rather than give a blazon of argent six palets gules, the thirteen pieces keeps the symbolism of the thirteen founding states, which was deemed more important than going with a more traditional blazon. Also, the thirteen pieces requires each piece be drawn of equal width, which ‘’argent six palets gules’’ would not necessarily require. Those aesthetics and idea of each piece being equal may have been another contributing factor for the blazon this way. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 06:15, 29 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why it was thought desirable to keep the word 'thirteen' is not the question here. I'm plenty liberal enough for "paly of 13" (and had thought of the equal widths point myself) but not liberal enough to say it is proper to use a keyword whose well-established primary sense is incompatible unless it's disambiguated better than that, e.g. "divided paleways". One who has never seen the device would not be unreasonable in supposing that the 'pieces' are stacked paleways. —Tamfang (talk) 05:23, 1 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is a difference of paleways of thirteen pieces and thirteen pieces in pale. Stacking the bars horizontally upon each other would be "in pale" while vertical pallets would be "paleways". [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 23:52, 19 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If one way is in pale, then the other way is in fess.
Is there at least one earlier blazon in which "paleways" (alone) means "paly"? —Tamfang (talk) 18:55, 20 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It isn't so much that it is blazoned as "paleways" to mean paly, but that these ambiguous "pieces" are paleways. When using something generic like "pieces" you can use in pale or fessways for the same effect, or in fess and paleways for the same effect. The difference is more important and distinguishable when using an actual charge, like a sword or a lion. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 20:03, 20 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The structure of language attaches paleways here not to the pieces but, if anything, to the shield. If it were thirteen pieces paleways (or thirteen palewise pieces) I'd have less reason to call the language improper. —Tamfang (talk) 00:30, 21 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am a bit confused now. The two things you describe are the same thing. The blazon opens with paleways of thirteen pieces, which implies "on a shield the field divided paleways of thirteen pieces". Yes, it refers to the shield being divided paleways, then immediately it tells you how many paleways divisions to include, thirteen. Nothing improper. There is no other way to draw paleways of thirteen pieces, as gone over before. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 03:51, 26 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's also no other way to draw fnord of thirteen plergbs, but this isn't a proper blazon either.
In every other blazon I've seen that uses the word paleways on its own (not divided paleways), it means a posture, not a division. Therefore I reject the theory that paleways implies divided. If you concede for the sake of argument that I really mean that, you may become less confused. —Tamfang (talk) 15:37, 26 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
“Pieces” means that it should be divided, as you can not have thirteen pieces clearly represented without dividing them someway. “Paleways” simply gives the direction on how to display those pieces, vertically. You might want to say how is someone to know the lines need to be straight; because that is how every line is unless otherwise stated. Lines of a pale, fess, chevron, canton, chief and so on are always straight without actually ever being described as straight. So thirteen pieces shown vertically would naturally be drawn straight because there is no mention of how else the lines should be drawn, nebuly, wavy, embattled or so on. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 18:28, 26 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So are you abandoning the claim that paleways (rather than pieces) implies divided? — That one might in principle eventually reconstruct the intended meaning does not save the blazon from being bad grammar, which is my whole point here. —Tamfang (talk) 21:51, 26 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If your whole argument was whether or not the sentence was proper English, then it was a misguided argument. It is blazon, not English. Blazon has its own set of style and rules independent from the English language, much of which is based on Early or Middle English, Old French and other small influences. When I said before how the blazon should be interpreted, it was not meant to imply that paleways describes the blazon, but that pieces must inherently be divided, and the paleways describes the way in which those divisions must be drawn, so it can be read as "divided paleways of thirteen pieces" or "divided into thirteen pieces paleways", whichever construct you prefer. They both mean the same, perhaps the latter is better so as not to confuse that paleways some how means something must be divided. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 19:55, 27 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please note the passages above where I said things like (paraphrasing) "paleways never has that meaning in any other BLAZON that I've encountered." Of course blazon has its own rules; forgive my supposing that you'd understand that these, rather than those of ordinary language, were what I meant by "grammar", given the context (we were discussing a blazon, as you may recall).
I say the blazon is improper, you say it isn't, we've each used up all our ammunition on the subject. I think we're done here. —Tamfang (talk) 06:37, 28 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This article doesn't really address the origins of the coats of arms. I know that the history of coats of arms, flags, and similar symbols in Europe and the Middle East is all closely tied. From what I have read most of the traditions associated with flags derive from the Germanic tribes but I believe that coats of arms and related symbols predate even the Romans, though I don't know the specifics.

Can anybody fill in the details?

--Mcorazao (talk) 19:26, 12 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See Heraldry#Origins and history. To treat the history of coats of arms separately would be, well, inefficient. —Tamfang (talk) 06:48, 14 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Japanese design styleEdit

The Japanese designs are distinctly different from European formats and often use floral and abstract patterns.

That's a bit of a non sequitur; plenty of European arms are abstract or floral. —Tamfang (talk) 06:47, 1 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. Obamafan70 (talk) 15:52, 18 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

United Arab RepublicEdit

The coat of arms that is mentioned in the article to be for Egypt is wrong. The coat of arms shown in the picture follows the United Arab Republic as written on them. United arab republic is something different than current Egypt.

Amjad Abdullah (talk) 17:09, 27 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, one of the coat of arms is the United Arab Republic, which was composed mostly of Egypt, and the other is the Kingdom of Egypt. If you want to change it to something, United Arab Republican is not correct by any means because of the Kingdom arms. Now, if you can change it to Arabian, Middle Easter or North African, but each have of those options has issue just as well. Egypt, the region and not the Arab Republic of Egypt, seems to be its own geographic enclave, never quite African, never quite Arabian and never quite Middle Eastern. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 02:38, 28 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems Egypt continued to use the UAR name by itself for 10 years after Syria exited the union. So the UAR arms were the arms of Egypt and Egypt alone for a decade. So Egyptian would be most accurate after all. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 21:29, 1 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the info. (talk) 11:04, 8 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

They're all listed at Coat of arms of Egypt... AnonMoos (talk) 11:58, 21 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pimbley's dictionary of heraldryEdit

The public domain text I have just copied into the article, originates from Pimbley, Arthur Francis (1908). Pimbley's dictionary of heraldry. Pimbley. {{cite book}}: Invalid |ref=harv (help) and is copyright expired. The text copied into the article by me was copied from Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry pp. 3-5, put onto the web by Melissa Snell -- PBS (talk) 13:32, 27 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On the addition to Traditions and usageEdit

Another editor reinstated this lengthy information. It was a new addition to the article, not something time tested. Also, the terms mostly come from one source, and are one author's opinion on how arms should be divided and classified, while other authors divide and classify arms differently. Some of these terms are repetitive, some definitions muddled and confusing. A few of the terms could be salvaged and expanded, but the whole list form and repetitious definitions should be removed.

Also, dates are quite relevant to a source. When you have two books, one stating the Earth is the centre of the solar system and the other stating it the Sun is, it is the date of the sources one will look at to determine which is the more recent and accepted theory. You can not give equal credence to the first theory as you do to the second theory which was built upon the first, as to the nth theory likewise built upon those before it. Many of the examples given tell tales that have long been discredited. There is no evidence that Washington’s arms influenced the design of the US arms. The actual legend about the Black Prince's feathers is that the prince took the helm of his rival, not his foe's coat of arms. The source is out-dated, it tells legends no longer beloved to be factual, and does not have a place then in this article. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 09:53, 2 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with the deletion. The matter in question was all added in one edit. Its length is disproportionate to its value. It's a glossary of terms most of which I've never seen used – and those which are useful can be defined in context rather than in a lump like this. —Tamfang (talk) 05:20, 4 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hawk of Quraysh and and Eagle of SaladinEdit

See one source at Talk:Coat_of_arms_of_Libya#Citation_needed_.28Hawk_of_Quraish.29. It's rather doubtful whether they actually go back to Saladin or the Quraysh in their modern visual form, but that's what they've been called in 20th-century Arab nationalist rhetoric and symbolism... AnonMoos (talk) 12:36, 24 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

P.S. There are also Wikimedia Commons categories commons:Category:Eagle of Saladin and commons:Category:Hawk of Quraish... AnonMoos (talk) 12:46, 24 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adding linksEdit

I have a nice program for making coats of arms. How do I add this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Llamallamarubberducky (talkcontribs) 18:36, 4 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Possible typo?Edit

The first sentence of the second paragraph reads: "The ancient Romans used similar insignias similar on their shields, ...". This would seem to be a duplication of the word "similar". I did not edit the page directly because this is not an area I am familiar with and I can't be sure that it wasn't intentional.


Why Turkey in Arab World ? Wanxpy (talk) 16:17, 14 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Request for CommentEdit

There is currently a RFC on Coat of arms of the Netherlands. All are welcome to comment. Fry1989 eh? 17:23, 22 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Coat of Arms in comics!Edit

The Despot King of The Wizard of Id has a coat of Arms-his head on the body of a bull! {Sept 16, 1994 Comic}


Somebody need to add the spanish version of this article [10] on the Languages section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Il giovane bello 73 (talkcontribs) 23:54, 15 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Grammatical ErrorsEdit

The article was informative, ineteresting, and had good citations. I did however, fix some grammatical errors such as changing the word honour into honor. Also, the word color was misspelled as colour. About 2 other words were misspelled as well. @Alfgarciamora: Clydetheglide9 (talk) 13:42, 3 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GA ReviewEdit

This review is transcluded from Talk:Coat of arms/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Calvin999 (talk · contribs) 20:32, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi. I'm Calvin999 and I am reviewing this nomination.  — Calvin999 20:32, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Four dead links
  • Why is the second paragraph of the lead only one line long? Looks a bit odd
  • but this usage is wrong in a strict sense of heraldic terminology. → This doesn't sound encyclopaedic
  • from the 11th Century, → does century need to be capitalised?
  • By the 13th Century arms → Comma after century
  • become a kind of → Too conversational (use of 'kind of')
  • remained rather consistent → Too formal (use of 'rather')
  • In the 21st century, → You don't capitalised century here, but there are several instance prior where you do
  • I think the lead is far too detailed and long given the length of the article and the relatively short sections in comparison
  • In the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland an individual, → Why do you link Scotland but not England?
  • and Scotland an individual, → Comma after Scotland
  • usually a color → I would have thought that you would use British English spelling for this article, not American? Given that this article doesn't really have anything to do with America.
  • an heir presumptive. → Link heir presumptive
  • Traditions and usage has very short sentence "paragraphs", it looks odd to have them so short and separate. A paragraph should be four to five sentences
  • were so encased → Use of 'so' reads conversational
  • European tradition: some sections are short and small that they don't warrant needing a sub-section. French and British could be combined I think.
  • Also, there are more one line stray sentences. Make all prose paragraphs consisting of four to five sentences.
  • Again, the sub-sections of Asia and Africa are so small. The Islam one isn't in need of being by itself.
  • Yet, even these simple designs often express an origin.[unbalanced opinion] → This tag needs sorting
  • A one line sub-section for Canada can't be justified, it looks ridiculous. The New World practices section could easily be one paragraph for both nations.
  • Same for Catholic Church
  • A lot of the Notes are missing dates and access dates

Structurally, I think this article is a mess. One line paragraphs should be minimised but there are multiple instances, even one line sections. I don't think this article passes 1b of the criteria and it seriously needs working on. I found this article really disjointed and no flow because of how the sections have been organisae and written. The lead needs to be shrunk too. It should be a summary. I think two paragraphs would be more than enough. I'm sorry but I can't pass this article. It needs to be majorly revised.  — Calvin999 20:25, 26 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GA ReviewEdit

This review is transcluded from Talk:Coat of arms/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: LavaBaron (talk · contribs) 11:57, 28 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

reasonably well written  
- tinctures do not use proper heraldic descriptions, despite the fact heraldic language is used in other facets of the article (e.g. "with a blue chief, which is displayed upon" - should be "with a chief Azure ...") - either plain language descriptions should be used throughout or heraldic terminology throughout, but we shouldn't do a mix-and-match

factually accurate and verifiable  
- vast sections, too numerous to itemize here, lack inline citations
- this otherwise exhaustive article only has 15 sources, none of which are the formative, cornerstone texts on this topic (e.g. Boutelle's Heraldry, etc.)

broad in its coverage  
- overly broad in parts ... the only reason there would be a section on flags in this article is if it were to describe banners of arms, which it does not
- the section on New World Practices describes the arms of the United States in such a way that does not account for recent research into the topic; see, for example, Boulton's comprehensive study in the most recent issue of Alta Studia Heraldica, among others

- yes

- yes; recent substantial edits have been by the nom in order to prep it for GA review

- though the article is on arms specifically, the illustrations are all of the entire heraldic achievement (compartments, supporters, crest, etc.) less badge, but are captioned to indicate they are the "coat of arms" which will create confusion for the reader

The sourcing issue is such a big one with this nomination that there is no reason to put the article on hold for improvement. It should not be nominated for GA consideration until every statement in the article is sourced to RS. At a minimum, that means an inline citation at the end of every paragraph (though likely every sentence, given the complexity of the topic). At present, we have nearly one dozen paragraphs that lack even a single source. LavaBaron (talk) 12:18, 28 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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