The four main devices (symbols) in the Anthony blazon are the cross tau, flaunch, leopard’s face and plate. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and or.
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).3A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 5A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 7Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The Tau Cross, or Cross of St. Anthony is a special form rather like a stylised ’T’ shape.
There are a number of major, simple and easily recognisable shapes and big patterns that are known as ordinaries. 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Ordinaries The flaunch (or more properly flaunches as they are always in pairs) is a interesting example of the type, being a shape curving inwards from edge vertical edge, each reaching about one third of the distance across. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Flaunch Wade’s researchs into the symbology of heraldry leads him to conclude that they represent a “reward given for virtue and learning”. 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P52
The leopard’s face (sometimes, incorrectly referred to as a leopard’s head occurs very frequently in heraldry 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lion. Early heraldic artists tended to treat lions and leopards as the same animal, but during the development of British Heraldry the heads of the two creatures have adopted separate, and more realistic forms. Wade would have us associate leopards with warriors, especially those who overcome ”hazardous things by force and courage” 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P65