The two main devices (symbols) in the Crowder blazon are the bend wavy and tiger. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and vert.
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 deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” 4. It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found 5. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 6. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!
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 7. It can be further distinguished by embellishing the edges. The decorative edge pattern Wavy, sometimes written as undy is, for obvious reasons, associated with both water and the sea 8. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 9. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.
In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? 10 The tiger is an interesting example here being named after a real animal but depicted in rather and mythical appearance. 11 Later arms came to use a more lifelike appearance and the usage of heraldic tiger and natual tiger arose to make the distinction. Wade tells us that the mythical bearing of such a creature signifies “great fierceness and valour when enraged” and suggests that we should be wary as the holder may be “one whosee resentment will be dangerous if aroused”! 12