The escarbuncle is a very ancient symbol that actually predates heraldry, although of uncertain origin. In appearance it resembles the “boss” at the centre of a shield and the strengthening rods radiating from it, and this has become its recognised heraldic form. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escarboucle. Wade refers to its original meaning as a “symbol of supremacy”. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P114