Coat of arms

History and Origins of Heraldry
– Heraldic designs came into general use among European nobility in the 12th century.
– Systematic, heritable heraldry had developed by the beginning of the 13th century.
– Arms became hereditary by the end of the 12th century.
– Burgher arms were used in Northern Italy in the second half of the 14th century.
– In the late medieval period, use of arms spread to the clergy, towns, and chartered organizations.
– The first recorded use of coats of arms dates back to the 12th century.
– Heraldry was initially used by knights to identify themselves in battle.
– The use of heraldry spread throughout Europe and became a symbol of nobility and status.
– Heraldry has evolved over time, incorporating different symbols and designs.

Regional Traditions
– French heraldry greatly influenced the British and Western European systems.
– Coats of arms in France are considered intellectual property of a family or municipal body.
– In England and Scotland, coats of arms are legal property transmitted from father to son.
– The Lord Lyon King of Arms has criminal jurisdiction to control the use of arms in Scotland.
– In England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, the use of arms is regulated by the College of Arms and the High Court of Chivalry.

Ecclesiastic Heraldry
– The Vatican City State and the Holy See have their own coat of arms.
– Popes display their personal arms combined with those of their office.
– Roman Catholic dioceses and basilicas have assigned coat of arms.
– Arms may be used in countries without heraldic devices.

National Traditions
– European states with constitutional continuity retain coats of arms.
– Denmark, San Marino, and Switzerland have coats of arms.
– Italy had loose regulations on coats of arms before 1861.
– Personal coats of arms and titles of nobility are not recognized in Italy.
– Coats of arms in Spain are based on military service and heritage.
– Communist regimes adopted emblems similar to Soviet states.
– Some ex-Communist states have reverted to their original pre-communist heraldry.
– Arab World states adopted European traditions of heraldry for state emblems.
– Sub-Saharan African flags and emblems often incorporate regional traditions and wildlife.
– Mottoes and symbols of ritual significance are commonly used in African coats of arms.

Heraldry Around the World
– Nordic countries have coats of arms for provinces, regions, cities, and municipalities.
– Coats of arms are displayed at borders, official buildings, and used in official documents.
– Municipal officers wear uniforms with coats of arms.
– Souvenirs and other items can feature coats of arms with permission from the municipal council.
– Canada has its own Chief Herald and Herald Chancellor.
– The Canadian Heraldic Authority is responsible for creating arms and promoting Canadian heraldry.
– The Canadian Heraldic Authority is located at Rideau Hall.
– The Great Seal of the United States features a heraldic achievement as its central design.
– Only a few American states have adopted a coat of arms.
– Vermont has both a state seal and a state coat of arms.
– The seal is used to authenticate documents, while the heraldic device represents the state.Sources: