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”1. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2. 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).3
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4. 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 5. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.6.
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 7. 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. 8 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. 9 Wade’s researchs into the symbology of heraldry leads him to conclude that they represent a “reward given for virtue and learning”. 10
The leopard’s face (sometimes, incorrectly referred to as a leopard’s head occurs very frequently in heraldry 11. 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” 12