The three main devices (symbols) in the Aikman blazon are the oaken batton, bend engrailed and oak tree. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and argent.
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.1The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
The staff raguly or ragged staff frequently occurs in heraldry and is intended to show a rough-hewn branch for use as a walking aid or club, and sometimes appear in flame at the top. 6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Staff Famously, a ragged staff appears with a bear in the arms associated with the family and county of Warwick in England. 7A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P458Other uses of the staff, such as pilgrim’s staff must be described as such, otherwise the ragged staff will probably be assumed.
The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. It can be further distinguished by embellishing the edges. The pattern engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.
Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Although sometimes described simply as a tree most often the specific species was named, and the oak tree or oak leaf is a typical example that frequently is depicted in arms, sometimes fructed with acorns of a different colour. 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Oak For good reason, Wade assigns the meaning of “antiquity and strength” to this symbol. 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P126