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8-08-2015, 16:21


Heraldry began as a system of personal identification that enabled knights to identify friends and foes in battle (Document 66). Each man adopted a color and easily recognizable pattern or image to place on his shield; this became his coat of arms and made him recognizable when fully armed. Women also adopted coats of arms. We have noted the castle emblems of Queen Blanche of Castile. The complex patterns of heraldry required highly trained specialists who not only identified owners but also made sure that each design was unique. Heralds had an official organization and training program, and they kept records of coats of arms. Eventually, coats of arms decorated and identified armor, clothing, personal belongings, flags, banners, and buildings. Cities, states, guilds, associations, churches, and colleges adopted coats of arms. Gateways were decorated with shields and heraldic banners flew from towers.