Under the Mermaid Angel (Laurel-Leaf Books)

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It is said to be a piece on which armour was fastened, and to represent a mesh of a net.

It does not occur very often in heraldry except as a supporter, but is does occur in certain families on a crest. In heraldry, it is usually only found as a supporter for a coat of arms. It may also represent one who has to subsist on the wings of his virtue and merit alone. On English arms it was a mark of cadency signifying the fourth son, for whom there was little doubt that there would be no land left for him to inherit.

This is supported by the fact that one never does see swallow standing, but regardless. Both are symbols of eloquence. It is seldom found in heraldry except for the round mirror held in the right hand of a mermaid, but it dies appear occasionally as a charge in a coat of arms or on a crest. Neither variation actually exists.

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It is supposed to have been given by the Romans to the soldier that first mounted the breach in the walls of a town or fortress. In heraldry, it would also apply to the defender of a fortress or be an appropriate token of civic honour.

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Some heralds say that the Emperor Claudius invented it as a reward for service at sea. Another description gives it the tail of a camel. It may also have the big ears of a griffin or just the head of an eagle, and sometimes the wings are omitted. It is supposed to represent a tennis ball. Early natural history books show it ingesting inedible food such as these metal objects, and it is possible that at one time ostriches were actually believed to eat these things. It has often been bestowed on those who have defended cities, supported the government of the sovereign, or stood strong for the country under stress.

As a charge in heraldry, the end is always couped, meaning that it does not extend to the edge of the shield, and fringed. Here it is usually borne with all three ends couped and pointed. It is a symbol of bravery in defence of the weak.

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Often it is depicted flammant or incensed, with flames issuing from its mouth and ears. Early armorial representations show a more natural representation, but they quickly disappear in favour of artistic creativity. Its image may signify distinguished service in a tropical country. For example, Sir R. It was therefore used in heraldry as a symbol of resurrection and immortality.

It is also an emblem of fame in heraldry. This beautiful horse of mythology is not an unusual symbol in heraldry and is used often as a crest. But for this noble act, the bird became a symbol of piety, self-sacrifice, and virtue associated with the Holy Eucharist. Legend states that at the end of its long life, this legendary bird built a pyre of spice-wood in the desert.

It ignited the pyre by fanning its wings in the heat of the sun, plunged into the fire and was burned to ashes. Then a rejuvenated phoenix rose out of the cinders, born again.

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It is often found as a symbol on a crest, accompanied by the flames that it rose out of renewed. It is distinguishable from other fish by its large head and long mouth. Or to those who showed great ability in any kind of construction. It may, if specified, issue from the base as well, if accompanied by piles issuing from other points of the escutcheon.

They may terminate in fleurs-de-lis or crosses patee. It is symbolic of the inexhaustible abundance of life in nature. The association is derived from the fact that the pine tree remained green in the winter when others appeared dead. Plate The plate is a white of silver roundel, a roundel being any circular charge of colour or metal.

It represents a silver coin found in Spain during the Crusades. The plate signifies generosity in heraldry. Most fruit was considered a token of good luck and symbolized the generosity of nature. It may have been intended to appear globular on the shield, rather than flat like most other roundels, so an artist may shade it accordingly. In heraldry, it signifies an effective protection in emergency, as it was used to guard the entrance to the fortress and could be suddenly lowered against a surprise attack, when there was no time to raise the drawbridge or close the weighty doors.

It is the well-known badge of the Royal House of Tudor. It is drawn points down with chains attached to its upper corners, though the disposition of the chains is a matter left to the artist.


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It superimposes all other charges or ordinaries on a field and unless it is an origin charge, and not added later, it need not conform to the rule forbidding colour on colour, or metal on metal. It is sometimes used as an augmentation of honour and it is also a mark used to distinguish the arms of one branch of a family from another, or that the name and arms of a family have been assumed where there is no blood descent. It is not often used as a charge on a shield but has been granted in crest since olden days. It is also an emblem of divine providence. It may indicate that the bearer is crafty and strategic, to the disadvantage of his enemies.

It also signifies vigilance in watching over friends. And because it clusters thickly and is a common plant, in heraldry bulrushes are symbolic of the multitude of faithful who lead a humble life and abide by the Christian teaching. This symbol may also be granted to recall a memorable event that occurred near water where bulrushes were abundant. Borne on a shield, the symbol indicated the same characteristics in its bearer.

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It is a very uncommon charge in heraldry, observed in only a few instances. The conventional form of a heraldic rose have five displayed petals that mimic the look of a wild rose on a hedgerow. During the reign of the Tudors there was a more naturalistic trend in heraldry, and stems and leaves were added to the rose.

It is usually described as a dragon in flames of fire, and is sometimes represented this way, only without the wings. More frequently, though, the symbol simply indicates the shape of a lizard. It is usually only used as a supporter in a coat of arms and is not particularly common in heraldry. It is seldom borne alone. Frequently it occurs in the hand of a king or a saint, and it can also be found crossed, saltirewise, with a sword. It is an imaginary creature with the head, chest and forelegs of a horse, webbed feet like a frog in place of its hooves and a scaled body that flows into the large powerful tail of a fish, which if properly drawn, circles around itself in a coil.

Patrick, an association derived from the legend of St. Patrick clearing Ireland of snakes. It usually points to some notable quest at sea, by which the first bearer became famous, but in more ancient bearings the emblem may have simply been derived from a long-standing seafaring tradition. It is said to represent dexterity and nimbleness of wit, a person able to penetrate and understand matters of the highest consequence.

This was a dangerous implement, used by knights to stimulate their war-horses into action. It signifies preparedness for active service in heraldry. It occurs in many English coats of arms ant it is always depicted sejant in a sitting position , though with a squirrel the arms are always raised, and very frequently, cracking a nut. It denotes Episcopal jurisdiction and authority.

It can indicate someone skilful in music and a lover of harmony. It may also indicate a person who foresees opportunities well. In the latter case it is a symbol used for one who is unwilling to assail enemies rashly, who would rather stand his own ground that harm another wrongfully, and one who will not fight unless provoked. The person bearing this symbol was considered impervious to weapons. It is also a symbol of authority. It represents happiness, life and spirituality.

The rays are alternatively straight and wavy, which symbolize the head and light that we derive from them, and the heraldic sun usually has a human face though this is not strictly necessary. It symbolized perfection, beauty and grace in heraldry. It is most often drawn close, though it can be found in other positions as well and sometimes even swimming. In heraldry, it is symbolic of liberty and strength.