The three main devices (symbols) in the Bradstreet blazon are the crescent, greyhound and gyronny. 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
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 4. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 5. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 6.
For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 7xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter 8. The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” 9.
Unlike many of the creatures to be found in heraldry, the Greyhound is shown in a very natural aspect and lifelike poses. 10 It is probably the most common member of the dog family to be found in arms 11, and Wade suggests that we see in its appearance the suggestion of“courage, vigilance and loyal fidelity”. 12
Gyronny is a very distinctive pattern covering the whole field of the shield, being a series of triangles, drawn from the edges and meeting in the centre of the shield 13. Each triangle is known as a gyron, and these sometimes appear as charges in their own right 14. Wade suggests that the use of gyrons upon a shield should be taken to denote “unity”.