Another frequently-encountered fur is named `vair'. Its representation suggests small animal furs which covered the shield from head to end, the shapes of which were bell-like. It symbolizes warrior spirit, strength and military prowess.
This variant of the vair fur is emblazoned vertically rather than horizontally, mainly for decorative purposes and for differentiation, but retains the same symbolic meaning. It suggests temperance and warrior spirit.
The expression `variations of the field' designates the patterns which may appear on a shield but are different from furs or tinctures.
Vert or green is represented in heraldry through diagonal lines from the dexter corner of the shield to the sinister base. In medieval literature it was featured prominently in the poem Gawain and the Green Night, where it had negative connotations. It symbolizes honour, freedom, hope and joy. Wake and Ormond knot - This type of knot was used as a charge by the Order of Annunciation, established during the 14th century. In this context, it stood for loyalty, protection, and obedience.
The term `vigilant' refers to those birds which are commonly represented in a position suggesting vigilance, such as the stork or crane. When depicted `vigilant', the bird is sitting on one leg, sometimes holding an item in its beak. It also symbolizes patience.
A bird described as `volant' is depicted in its flight, facing towards the dexter side of the shield. The dove usually appears in this position, to distinguish it from other similarly-emblazoned birds, such as the swallow. It signifies hope and vigilance.