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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Nov, 2008 12:44 pm    Post subject: Laws of Heraldry         Reply with quote

At some point in history (I think around the 14th century?) a number of formalized codes on how to express ones heraldic device appear to have been created. I was wondering if the guidelines were universal (allowing international understanding), or extremely localized? Also, who had these systems? I know the French and Germans had a formal system, but did the English adopt them? If so, what are reliable sources for those wanting to emulate the rules and create their own?

M.

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Kimon Andreou




Location: Florida
Joined: 19 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Nov, 2008 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The short answer is that each region developed it's own standards and rules. In most countries it was very "free" and each individual was able to adopt arms at will. In others, it was (and still is) very tightly controlled.

On top of that, through the course of history, rules changed and in some cases radically (such as in Napoleonic France).

Check out this page for more: http://americanheraldry.org/pages/index.php?n=Primer.Page1

There are some basic rules though:
Tincture rules
Coronets of rank & crowns
Use of ermine on the mantle
Use of certain charges (red hand of ulster, maltese cross, etc)
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Nov, 2008 2:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Laws of Heraldry         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
At some point in history (I think around the 14th century?) .


Actually, it was commonly done by merchants in the 13th century. Horse traders, wine makers, etc. utilized coats of arms as a brand recognition / copy right type of device. (Contrary to the idea that knights first invented it for battlefield recognition.) I do not know the differences in how merchants' devices were designed versus those of military families, but have not come across authors discussing them as being different at the early period.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 05 Nov, 2008 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Laws of Heraldry         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
At some point in history (I think around the 14th century?) a number of formalized codes on how to express ones heraldic device appear to have been created. I was wondering if the guidelines were universal (allowing international understanding), or extremely localized? Also, who had these systems? I know the French and Germans had a formal system, but did the English adopt them? If so, what are reliable sources for those wanting to emulate the rules and create their own?

M.

Hi Michael,

i recall you were discussing banners here in the past year or so. As far as doing what you want, there is no real trouble until someone comes along and tells you to quit it.. English standards and legal information will be found here.
http://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/

As far as timeline, as old as the hills really. It is not entirely the Norman conquest and Hastings but there is a lot already in place. Many Normans adopted information they had already been using arms (sic). Crests and such were also incorporated quite early. There is honestly an enormous matter of material you could spend hours reading. If you are just looking for the answer and ready question, there are links like this.
http://www.therotunda.net/heraldry/college.html

Simply using the search term here at myArmoury would yield a good number of threads, including the inquiry about banners. if yu want something official from the UK, follow that first link.

I know I have lweft this link as neat a few times as well because you can look at the roll from Edward IV. It offered a great many arms and heraldy from the 14th century.
http://www.library.phila.gov/medieval/index.htm

Certainly by the time of taxes in the UK, you are seeing peerage and baronetcies, which go purse and parcel with the heraldy. be very aware what arms are and how folk attribute descendancy. Crests are often for many. Badges almost universal for centuries before the 14th century. All older than you might think.

Cheers

GC
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