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Heraldry Through History

NASA's Apollo 11 Mission Patch

Though modern heraldry has many elements and users that did not exist in medieval times (such as the mission patches for NASA), modern coats of arms usually hark back to medieval arms in some important way. For example, the University of St Andrews in Scotland took a coat of arms in 1905 that included the rampant lion from the Scottish flag. It matriculated a coat of arms in 2006 that included elements from the university's original medieval seal (the St Andrews cross) and arms of the university's founders. 25

Australian Army Intelligence Corps Badge

Similarly, the badge of the Australian Army Intelligence Corps is derived from the badge for the British Army Intelligence Corps, which has a Tudor rose dating to the Tudor and Cromwellian periods, and a crown showing Australia's Commonwealth membership. 26 Modern armorial representations are carefully designed to reflect the history, origins and corporate accomplishments of an organization. 25

Coats of arms are generally granted by governments or other institutions, but it is also possible to have arms designed for individuals. While heralds no longer roam the countryside, identifying and confirming the different arms, modern heraldry is frequently regulated to an even greater degree than in the Middle Ages.

Logos and trademarks of businesses and other corporate organizations are under copyright. They cannot be used or duplicated without express permission of the logo or trademark owner. Banners are also under generally under copyright, unless they are released under a creative commons license. This is because heraldry has become a critical way for a wide variety of groups and individuals to establish and maintain their identify. Heraldry in its modern form remains as vibrant as ever.

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