Coat of arms are an essential part of European history, linking back to medieval times and the practice of knights wearing designs on their shields to display their identity. Over time, these designs evolved into family crests, and one common element found on them are banners. Banners add a unique flair to coat of arms, allowing for symbolism and messages to be conveyed through heraldry. But what exactly are the different types of banners used in coat of arms design? And what symbols or colors are typically found on them? This article will answer those questions and more, providing a comprehensive guide to exploring the use of banners in coat of arms design.
Banners in Coat of Arms
Banners play a significant role in the design of many coat of arms. They are elongated strips of cloth that are placed at the top or bottom of the shield. Banners can be used to display a motto, war cry or the name of the bearer, and can further add to the visual appeal of a coat of arms. There are different types of banners to choose from, ranging from single color banners to multi-color ones. Symbols, letters, and even animals can be incorporated onto banners to make them more unique and representative of the bearer. The color of banners, just like other elements in coat of arms design, are steeped in symbolism. Professional designers can be of great help in designing a banner that is tailored to the personalization of the bearer’s representation.
History of Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms have a rich history dating back to the medieval period. They were originally used for identification purposes during battles and tournaments since helmets covering the face made it difficult to recognize soldiers. At first, only knights and noble families used coats of arms, but later on, they became more common among the upper classes and even cities.
During the 12th century, shields were painted with bright colors and included symbols to differentiate between combatants. The designs soon became more complex and included elements such as animals, flowers, and religious symbols. The coat of arms became a way for families to showcase their achievements, land ownership, and status.
In the 13th century, King Henry III of England issued a proclamation requiring knights to display their coat of arms on their shields in every tournament, which further promoted the use of coats of arms as a symbol of honor and pride. During the Renaissance period, coats of arms started being used in everyday life, such as on flags, clothing, and buildings.
Today, coats of arms are still used in many countries, especially in Europe, as a way to represent families, organizations, and territories. They remain a symbol of tradition, heritage, and status. To this day, their design and rules of usage are governed by the College of Arms in London, England.
Did you know that each coat of arms has a motto that is unique to its owner and symbolizes their values and beliefs?
How Banners are Used in Coat of Arms
Banners are an essential part of a coat of arms. They serve as a decorative element that helps to display important information about the family or organization that the coat of arms represents.
One main way banners are used in coats of arms is to display the family or organization’s motto. The motto is a phrase or saying that holds significant meaning to the family or organization and is displayed on the banner in Latin or the language of the family’s origin. For example, one famous motto is “Semper Fidelis,” which means “Always Faithful,” and is used by the United States Marine Corps.
Banners are also used in coat of arms to display the family or organization’s name. The name is typically displayed on a scroll or ribbon banner situated prominently behind the shield. This helps to ensure that the name of the family or organization is not lost amongst the many elements of the coat of arms.
Another way that banners are used in coats of arms is to display honors or achievements earned by the family or organization. These honors and achievements can be displayed on a separate smaller banner above the main coat of arms. For example, the family may have received a knighthood or been granted a certain title, which could be displayed on a separate banner.
It is important to note that the use of banners in coats of arms is based on a set of rules and guidelines known as heraldry. These guidelines ensure that the design of the coat of arms is both aesthetically pleasing and accurately represents the family or organization it represents.
Types of Banners
used in coat of arms design can be divided into two main categories; single colour banners and multi-colour banners. Single colour banners, such as the tradionally used Gules (red), Sable (black), and Azure (blue), are often used to denote specific qualities or characteristics, while multi-colour banners, like Gules and Or (red and gold) or Or and Azure (gold and blue), are typically used to represent certain geographical places or families. A banner can also include symbols such as crowns and coronets, animals and other creatures, and letters and monograms. To fully understand the deep symbolism behind banner design in coat of arms, knowledge of color theory and psychology is essential. When designing a banner, choosing the right colors and symbols for personalization is important, which you can collaborate on with a professional designer for the best result.
Single Colour Banners
Single-color banners, also known as flags or pennants, are some of the most commonly used banners in coat of arms designs. They are often placed behind or above the shield, and their color can carry its own symbolism. These banners can come in a variety of shapes, such as triangular, square or swallowtail. They can also be adorned with a fringe or tassel.
A single-color banner can represent a family’s favorite color, a geographic location, or a particular virtue. For example, a red banner symbolizes bravery and courage, while a blue banner represents loyalty and truth.
The color psychology of single-color banners plays an essential role in coat of arms design. For instance, red is often used to depict courage, strength, and determination. On the other hand, green represents hope, growth, and fertility, whereas blue can symbolize loyalty, truth, and wisdom.
Single-color banners are simple and elegant, and they can make a bold statement about a family’s history and identity. They are also an excellent choice for those who want to create a coat of arms that is easy to recognize and remember.
Single-color banners are a versatile and valuable tool in coat of arms design. Whether used to represent a family’s favorite color or to convey a particular virtue, these banners add depth and nuance to a coat of arms, making it a unique reflection of its owner.
Multi-colour banners in coat of arms are a popular design choice due to their ability to convey a wide range of information and the flexibility they offer designers. The use of multiple colors in banners increases their visual appeal and makes them stand out. However, designing a multi-color banner requires careful consideration of both the colors being used and the symbolism of the accompanying symbols.
One popular type of multi-color banner is the quarterly banner. This type of banner divides the shield into four quadrants, sometimes used to represent the different regions of an ancestral homeland. Each quadrant can be further divided into halves or smaller sections. This allows for multiple colors to be used while keeping the overall design symmetrical. Another type of multi-color banner is the per fess banner, where the shield is divided horizontally.
When designing a multi-color banner, it is vital to consider the meanings and symbolism behind each color used. For example, gold is often used to represent generosity and elevation of the mind, while red can signify warrior or martyr-like qualities. Blue represents loyalty and truth, while green is symbolic of hope, joy, and loyalty in love. Using a combination of these colors can create a multi-color banner that conveys both a powerful message and visually appealing design.
It is essential to keep in mind that the symbols used in multi-color banners should also be chosen carefully. For example, using a symbol that is not traditionally associated with a particular color used in the banner would not be effective. Symbols used in multi-color banners include animals, crowns, coronets, letters, and monograms.
Whether designing your multi-color banner or working with a professional designer, choosing colors that convey their intended meanings and symbols that represent your personal or familial history will ensure that your coat of arms stands out in a positive way.
Symbols on Banners
Symbols on banners play an important role in coat of arms design, as they often represent the values and beliefs of the family or organization they represent. Crowns and coronets are a common symbol seen on banners and can indicate the rank or status of the wearer. Animals and other creatures are also popular choices, often representing qualities such as strength or loyalty. Letters and monograms can be used to personalize the banner and make it unique to the individual or organization. Each symbol chosen for the banner should be carefully considered and hold some significance. To learn more about the symbolism and use of color in coat of arms design, check out the Colors in Coat of Arms Design article.
Crowns and Coronets
In heraldry, crowns and coronets are often used on banners to indicate rank or status. These symbols vary in design depending on the country and the nobility system in place. Here are some of the most common crowns and coronets used in heraldry:
|Coronet||A simple circlet with no arches or jewels||Used by non-sovereigns, such as peers or members of the royal family|
|Baron’s Coronet||A circlet with six visible pearls and raised points||Indicates the rank of a baron|
|Count’s Coronet||A circlet with eight visible pearls and raised points topped with four strawberry leaves||Indicates the rank of a count|
|Duke’s Coronet||A circlet with eight visible pearls, topped with strawberry leaves and with alternating fleurs-de-lis and crosses pattée||Indicates the rank of a duke|
|King’s Crown||A gold crown with eight arches, a purple velvet cap with ermine trim, and topped with a jeweled globe and cross on a cushion||Indicates the rank of a king|
|Queen’s Crown||A gold crown with four arches and a purple velvet cap with ermine trim and pearls||Indicates the rank of a queen|
It’s important to note that the use of crowns and coronets on banners is not limited to nobility. They can also be used to indicate a particular profession or organization. For example, a bishop may use a mitre or an academic institution may use a mortarboard as their symbol of authority.
The design of crowns and coronets can also be personalized to reflect the individual’s taste and personality. To learn more about how to personalize the symbols on your coat of arms, check out our article on personalization in coat of arms design.
Animals and Other Creatures
Animals and other creatures have always been important symbols in coat of arms design. They represent various family characteristics such as bravery, strength, loyalty, intelligence, and so on. Lions are the most common animals used in coat of arms designs, and they symbolize courage and power. Other popular animals used in coat of arms designs are eagles which symbolize strength and freedom, and horses which symbolize dignity and courage.
Some less common animals used in coat of arms designs include unicorns (which symbolize purity and virtue), dragons (which symbolize power and majesty), and griffins (which symbolize courage and vigilance). These animals can be depicted in various positions such as rampant (rearing up on their hind legs), passant (walking with one foot raised), and couchant (lying down).
In addition to animals, other creatures such as fish, birds, and insects are also used in coat of arms designs. For example, dolphins symbolize speed and diligence, while swallows and doves symbolize peace and devotion. Bees symbolize diligence and industry, and cranes symbolize vigilance and longevity.
When choosing an animal or other creature for your coat of arms design, it is important to consider the symbolism associated with the animal. You should also consider the position and color of the animal, as this can affect the overall symbolism of the design. For example, a black lion may symbolize fierceness and power, while a white dove may symbolize purity and peace.
The use of animals and other creatures in coat of arms design continues to be an important part of heraldry. Whether you choose a common animal such as a lion or a less common animal such as a griffin, incorporating an animal into your coat of arms design can add a unique and meaningful touch to your family’s heraldic legacy.
Letters and Monograms
In coat of arms design, letters and monograms can be used to represent the name of the family or individual the coat of arms belongs to. They are often used prominently in the design and can be created using various fonts and styles.
One common way to incorporate letters and monograms into a coat of arms is to use them as the central figure on a banner. This banner may be a variety of shapes such as rectangular, swallow-tailed, or pointy. The letters or monograms can be surrounded by other symbols or they can stand alone.
For example, the coat of arms for the British royal family has the letter “E” featured prominently for Queen Elizabeth II. The “E” is surrounded by various symbols of the British monarchy including lions and unicorns.
In addition to using letters and monograms on banners, they can also be used on crests, helmets, and mantling. Crests are typically placed above the shield and depict a symbol or figure that represents the family or individual. The use of letters or monograms on the crest can add a personalized touch to the design.
When creating a coat of arms with letters or monograms, it is important to choose a font that is easy to read and fits with the style of the overall design. Gothic and Old English fonts are popular choices for a traditional heraldic feel, while modern sans-serif fonts can give a more contemporary look.
The use of letters and monograms in coat of arms design can add a personalized touch while still following the traditions and symbolism of heraldry. For more information on symbolism in coat of arms design, check out our guide on coat of arms animal symbolism or our article on symbolism in shield shapes.
Color Variations on Banners
In Coat of Arms design, the colors used on banners hold significant meaning. Knights and nobles used specific colors called tinctures on their coat of arms banners to convey specific messages. Tinctures can be divided into two groups: metals and colors. “Or” or gold and “argent” or silver are metals, while red, blue, green, purple, and black are colors. These colors can be further divided into a group called stains or furs. “Ermine,” “ermines,” “erminois,” “pean,” “vair,” and “potent” are all examples of furs or stains used on coat of arms banners.Besides, Color psychology is also important in heraldry. For instance, “Gules” or red represents bravery, while “Azure” or blue represents loyalty. The use of colors in banner design is an important factor in conveying the message of the coat of arms.
The use of Tinctures
The use of Tinctures
One of the essential aspects of designing a coat of arms banner is choosing the right tinctures or colors. There are two types of tinctures: metals and colors. The metals are Or (gold) and Argent (silver), while the colors include Gules (red), Azure (blue), Sable (black), Vert (green), and Purpure (purple).
It is important to remember that certain combinations of colors and metals are prohibited in heraldry. For example, it is not allowed to place metal on metal or color on color, which means that Or cannot be placed on Argent and vice versa, while Gules cannot be placed on Azure, and Sable cannot be placed on Purpure.
There are rules related to the position of the colors on the coat of arms. For instance, Gules is always placed first, followed by Azure, Sable, Vert, and Purpure.
Tinctures are often used to create patterns on banners, such as stripes, chevrons, and bends. Stripes can be vertical or horizontal, while chevrons are V-shaped and bends are diagonal. These patterns can be created by alternating the colors or metals on the banner.
In heraldry, certain colors and metals have symbolic meanings. For example, Or represents generosity and elevation of the mind, while Argent symbolizes peace and sincerity. Gules represents courage and strength, while Azure symbolizes loyalty and truth. Sable represents constancy and sometimes grief, while Vert symbolizes hope, joy, and loyalty in love.
When designing a coat of arms banner, it is essential to pay attention to the tinctures’ placement, combination, and meaning to create a cohesive and meaningful design.
Color Psychology in Heraldry
In heraldry, colors have specific meanings and symbolism that communicate various traits of the family or organization it represents. The use of tinctures or colors in heraldry has evolved over time, and each tincture has specific meanings and symbolism.
Below is a list of some of the most common tinctures used in heraldry and their meanings.
|Gules (Red)||Warrior or martyr; military strength and magnanimity.|
|Vert (Green)||Hope, joy, and loyalty.|
|Or (Gold)||Generosity and elevation of the mind.|
|Argent (Silver/White)||Peace and sincerity.|
|Purpure (Purple)||Royalty, sovereignty, and justice.|
|Sable (Black)||Constancy or grief.|
|Azure (Blue)||Truth and loyalty.|
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the meanings of tinctures are not set in stone, and can vary depending on the culture and context in which they are used.
The use of color psychology in heraldry can go beyond tinctures and into the use of specific shades and combinations. For example, using gold and red together can signify power and wealth, while green and blue can convey a sense of calm and trust.
Understanding the symbolism behind tinctures and colors in heraldry can be an important aspect of designing a coat of arms that truly represents your family or organization. By using the right combinations of colors and shades, you can communicate specific traits and characteristics that are meaningful and impactful.
Symbols and colors play equally important roles in the design of a coat of arms. Together, they create a powerful message that represents the history, traditions, and values of the family or organization it represents.
Designing a Banner for your Coat of Arms
When designing a banner for your Coat of Arms, there are several important factors to consider. Firstly, it’s essential to choose the right colors to represent your family and its values. This can involve a deep dive into color psychology in heraldry, as well as understanding the use of tinctures. Additionally, deciding on the symbols that will be depicted on the banner is a crucial step. This can include anything from crowns and coronets to animals and letters. Finally, it’s critical to work with a professional designer who can bring your banner to life in a visually appealing and accurate way. By taking these steps, you can create a banner that is both meaningful and visually stunning. If you want to learn more about heraldic crowns, check out our article on the importance of heraldic crowns in Coat of Arms.
Choosing the Right Colors
When it comes to choosing the right colors for your banner, it’s essential to take into account the rules of heraldic color combinations. The use of tinctures is significant in heraldry, and each color has its meaning. The coat of arms design should use a maximum of three colors, making the selection process challenging, but you can find some tools online to help with that.
A good place to start is by looking at the historical meaning behind the tinctures. For example, gold or yellow represents generosity, whilst blue represents loyalty. Red represents courage, green represents hope and joy, and black represents determination. These meanings can help you choose colors based on the values you want to represent with your coat of arms.
Another consideration is that some colors, such as green and gold, are more frequent in specific professions or regions. For example, gold is often used in legal professions, while green is more frequently seen in military-related crests. So, it would be appropriate to use them if you want to represent these professions.
It’s also important to consider the contrast between the colors used in your design. For example, a white or silver banner could be seen as a background to make the rest of the design stand out more. In contrast, a black banner could make the other colors appear more vibrant.
Choosing the right colors for your banner is a critical step in coat of arms design. It’s necessary to understand the meaning behind the tinctures and their historical significance. Additionally, it’s essential to consider the industry or region where your coat of arms is being used, as well as the contrast between the colors. Ultimately, with careful selection and consideration, you can create a coat of arms that is both visually appealing and meaningful.
Deciding on Symbols
Deciding on Symbols: When selecting symbols to feature on a coat of arms banner, it is important to consider the values and ideals that the banner represents. Many symbols in coat of arms design are steeped in history and tradition, representing concepts such as loyalty, honor, and bravery. Some of the most commonly used symbols on banners include crosses, crowns, lions, and eagles. However, there is also plenty of room for creativity when it comes to selecting symbols for a coat of arms banner.
Creative Symbols: Unique symbols like unicorns, dragons, and mermaids can add a touch of individuality and personality to a coat of arms banner. These symbols can be used to represent family heritage or individual character traits. When choosing symbols, it is important to research the history behind each one to ensure that it is appropriate and meaningful to the individual or family being represented.
Modern Symbols: In addition to traditional symbols, modern symbols can also be included in coat of arms banner design. These modern symbols might include technological or scientific imagery, sport or hobby-related symbols, or even pop culture references. These symbols should be used sparingly and carefully, as they can quickly become outdated and lose their meaning over time.
Combining Symbols: Another option when designing a coat of arms banner is to combine multiple symbols to create a more complex representation of values and ideals. For example, a banner featuring both a lion and a cross could represent bravery and loyalty to the Christian faith. It is important to ensure that the symbols selected work well together and are not contradictory.
Final Thoughts: Ultimately, the symbols selected for a coat of arms banner should be meaningful and representative of the values and ideals that the banner represents. Whether opting for traditional symbols, creative and unique designs, or a combination of the two, careful consideration should be taken to ensure that the final design accurately represents the individual or family being represented. When in doubt, consult with a professional designer to help bring your vision to life.
Typography can also be incorporated into coat of arms design to further enhance its meaning and symbolism. Additionally, mantling and supporters can be used to give the banner a more elaborate and decorative appearance.
Working with a Professional Designer
Working with a professional designer can make a big difference in creating a unique and meaningful coat of arms banner. There are many heraldic designers and artists who specialize in creating custom coat of arms designs, and working with one of these professionals can provide you with expertise and insight into the tradition of heraldry.
Here are some things to keep in mind when working with a professional designer:
|Consider their experience and portfolio|
|When selecting a designer to work with, it’s important to take a look at their past work and experience. Most professional heraldic designers will have a portfolio of previous projects that they can share with you, giving you an idea of their style and approach to designing a coat of arms for clients.|
|Communicate your vision and preferences|
|Be sure to communicate your vision and preferences to the designer you choose to work with. Depending on the designer, they may have different approaches to the design process, such as sketching or digital design. Be clear with them about what you like and don’t like, and provide them with any specific symbols or imagery that you want included in your design.|
|Be open to feedback and suggestions|
|While it’s important to communicate your preferences, it’s also important to be open to feedback and suggestions from the designer. They may have insights into heraldic symbolism or color schemes that you may not have considered, and can help guide you in creating a design that is both visually appealing and meaningful.|
|Understand the design process and timeline|
|Before beginning work with a designer, be sure to understand their design process, as well as the timeline for completion. Depending on the complexity of the design and the designer’s workload, the process could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.|
Remember, working with a professional designer can provide you with expertise and insight into the tradition of heraldry, helping you create a coat of arms banner that is both visually stunning and deeply meaningful.
In conclusion, banners are an integral part of coat of arms design that can convey a wealth of meaning and history. Understanding the history of coat of arms and the significance of symbols and colors is essential to creating a banner that accurately represents your family or organization.
When designing a banner, it is important to consider the use of single colour or multi-colour banners, as well as the different symbols that can be used, such as crowns and coronets, animals, and letters. Additionally, the use of tinctures and color psychology should also be taken into account when designing a banner.
It is crucial to choose the right colors and symbols to represent your family or organization accurately. If you are designing a coat of arms for an important business or organization, working with a professional designer is highly recommended to ensure that your banner is both aesthetically pleasing and historically accurate.
Lastly, the use of banners in coat of arms design is a timeless tradition that has been passed down for centuries. By designing a banner for your coat of arms, you are adding to the rich history and tradition of heraldry and creating a unique representation of your family or organization.
Overall, creating a banner for your coat of arms is a rewarding and fulfilling process that can yield a stunning and meaningful result. With the right attention to detail and elements of design, your banner can become an iconic symbol and representation of your family or organization for generations to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the history behind Coat of Arms?
Coat of Arms was introduced in medieval Europe as a way for knights to easily identify themselves on the battlefield
How is a banner used in Coat of Arms?
A banner is a decorative way to display a motto or family name in a Coat of Arms.
What are the types of banners used in Coat of Arms?
Banners can be single-color or multi-colored depending on the preference of the individual
What symbols can be displayed on a banner in Coat of Arms?
Common symbols include crowns and coronets, animals, and letters or monograms
What is the significance of animal symbols on a banner in Coat of Arms?
Animal symbols were often used to represent characteristics such as bravery, strength, or cunningness.
What are Tinctures?
Tinctures refer to the colors used in heraldry, consisting of metals, colors, and furs.
What is the significance of color in heraldry?
Colors in heraldry have specific meanings, such as red indicating courage or blue representing loyalty.
What factors should I consider when designing a banner for my Coat of Arms?
When designing a banner, consider factors such as color, symbolism, and working with a professional designer.
Why should I work with a professional designer when creating my Coat of Arms?
A professional designer can help ensure that your design is unique, and follows all the heraldic rules and conventions
Can I display my Coat of Arms in modern society?
Yes, displaying a Coat of Arms is still a common tradition in many cultures, and can add a touch of elegance and heritage to any setting.