Coat of Arms
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Coat of Arms
Most people believe a coat of arms to be a shield of some sort that knights used in the middle ages to protect themselves in battle. In reality, a coat of arms consists of more than just a shield. There are actually five elements in a coat of arms: the shield, the crest, the helm, the wreath and the mantle or mantling. Each of these elements creates what is know as a coat of arms. While it is true that knights did indeed wear coats of arms during battle, the emblem was not only found on the armor used for protection in battle but also appeared on flags and clothing.
There exists some debate as to the history and the creation of the coat of arms. The most wide spread theory is that coats of arms were needed as a means of identifying knights in battle. The idea was that since the knights were masked by helmets during tournaments or fights, the only way to identify their allegiance was by looking at his coat of arms. Therefore when two kingdoms fought each other, the purveyor could and would take the arms of the victim and hoist it as a trophy and as a sign of victory.
Aside from winning coats of arms in battle there were several other means of acquiring a coat of arms. Another way is to inherit from the family. THis brings about the idea of heraldry and genealogy, two concepts closely tied to coats of arms. Royal families were not the only ones to commission coats of arms, hence many families possessed such emblems that could symbolize family wealth, stature and standing. A common novelty today is to genealogically trace the family name and discover the history of it. For various prices ranging from $49.95 and up, you can be the proud owner of an authentic coat of arms of your family. For a little more money, you too could be like the knights and carry the coat on a flag, or maybe wear it on a T-shirt or drink out of a coffee mug with it embossed.
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Coat Arms Wear Stature Mantle Knights Shield Discover Genealogy Carry
A person could also receive a coat of arms as a gift from a king, prince or some other lord. Coats of arms were sometimes bestowed upon a person as an award or accomplishment. Upon receiving such a gift, the man could pass the coat down to his heirs. Lastly, a person could merely claim a coat of arms to be their own and hence deem it an heirloom. This idea allowed peasant to "steal" the coat of a noble or king, and since there wa not such idea as copyright infringement during the Middle Ages, pretty much anyone could steal. For the most part though, a "fraud" could be recognized and people were able to tell if it was "stolen."
The symbols that appears on a coat of arms have been meticulously chosen to signify certain ideals. Often times an animal of some form can be found on a coat. For instance, "the bee, because of its behavior, was long seen as a symbol of industriousness" while "pelican was suppose to open its breast with its beak to feed its young in times of distress, and thus the bird became a symbol of generosity or parental devotion" (Velde). Furthermore the colors used were carefully chosen and often very bright and rich.
Coats of arms played an important part in the ideal of chivalry. Loyalty and allegiance was easily displayed by wearing a certain coat of arms. When knights went into battle risking their lives, they risk their lives for what their coat of arms stood for. Coats of arms symbolize loyalty, honor and valor.
Page, Rex. "What is Chivalry?" 8 Nov. 1998 http://www.alltel.net/~rpage/define.htm
Velde, Francois. "Heraldica." 8 Nov. 1998 http://www.heralidca.org
Coat of Arms
A coat of arms is at minimum, a decorated shield. It is a personal logo used by people to identify themselves. The purpose of a coat of arms was used to identify a noble person or family and distinguish them in places like battles. They use symbols on the coat of arms because in the times when they were most popular the majority of the people could not read.
First on my sheild is my greatest personal achievment, and to represent it I put a butterfly in the first section of my coat of arms. The reason I put a butterfly is because to me a butterly represents change, since a butterfly once was a caterpillar, and then turned into something very beautiful and free. My greatest personal achievment would be me changing my lifestyle and my choices for the better. I decided to stop doing bad and try to focus more on the things that will later benefit me in life rather, such as school, rather than the things that are harmful to my body and only are fun for the moment. By realizing my ways, stepping up and making that change, to me, it is my greatest personal achievment so far.
I believe that it is important to stay focused on your strengths and not your weaknesses, and next on my coat of arms would be three things I am good at. The first thing I am good at is being independent. Over the years I have learned to not depend on anyone, to think for yourself, use your own judgment and and to make your own decisions. To represent me being independent, I placed a cat in my second section. The reason being is because I believe that cats are the most independent animals. My second strength would be having the capacity to love and to be loved. I am very kind hearted I love unconditionally. I love to love and I love to be loved and I know in order to be loved by another, you must first learn to love others; that includes yourself. To represent this on my coat of arms I place a heart in my second section, for a heart generally represents...