Coat of arms

What is a Coat of Arms?

A coat of arms is an heraldic visual design on an escutcheon (ie shield), surcoat or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which in its whole consists of shield, supporters, cret and motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, family (except in the UK), state, organisation or corporation.

College of Arms

We have strong links with the College of Arms - click HERE for their official website - so if we can't help you, we can always make introductions or you can contact them direct.

A Coat of Arms as a flag

The correct way to represent a Coat of Arms in flag format is to only include the contents of the shield.

You can of course have everything else on a coat of arms included but this will generally mean that the flag is very central centric and in the case of a sewn flag to be flown, very heavy. 

Flags are used to identify ships (where they are called ensigns), embassies and such, and they use the same colours and designs found in heraldry, but they are not usually considered to be heraldic.

A country may have both a national flag and a national coat of arms, and the two may not look alike at all. For example, the flag of Scotland (St Andrew's Cross) has a white saltaire on a blue field (base), but the Royal Arms of Scotland has a red lion within a double tressure on a gold field (base).


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