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Glossary

addorsed

addorsed

The term `addorsed` applies to either two creatures or a pair of objects which are depicted facing away from one another. It symbolizes prudence and patience.

angels

Frequently occurring as supporters, angels or angelic creatures (such as the cherub) symbolize the piety and devotion of the bearer, as well as his protection of the church.

annulet

annulet

The annulet is one of the most frequent ordinaries in heraldry, and designates a simple ring of metal or of colour. More than one annulet may appear on a shield, and they may be interlaced. The annulet symbolizes fidelity, chivalry and trust.

argent

argent

This metal was represented simply through white colouring, and occurred frequently for instance in the heraldic shields borne by the heroes of medieval romances. The argent shield was seen as an emblem of the perfect knight, in this case Lancelot. It symbolized chivalry, purity, wealth and wisdom.

arrow (shafted)

arrow (shafted)

One of the weapons emblazoned in coats of arms, the arrow is commonly depicted pointing down. The attribute `shafted' is used in French heraldry, and refers to an arrow which has the same tincture as its shaft. It symbolizes honor and warrior spirit.

attitudes in heraldry

As part of the development of heraldry and the dissemination of charges, the need for differentiation appeared. One way to differentiate shields emblazoned with the same animals was to give them distinct positions or attitudes. In time, these attitudes became standardized for each type of animal: beasts, birds, fish, etc.

azur

azur

Azur or blue was one of the most common colours used in heraldry, and enjoyed a particular predominance in medieval France, where it was associated with nobility and sacredness. It symbolized loyalty, fidelity, perseverance and honesty.