The two main devices (symbols) in the Dabrowa blazon are the cross fitchee and horseshoe. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, argent and azure .
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” 1. 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 2. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 3.
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) 4. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5.
The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 6. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 7.
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 8. 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, typically involving patterning along the edges 9, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 10. The term fitchee can be applied to any cross and simply means that the lower arm is pointed, as if it is to planted in the ground.
Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 11. The horseshoe is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner. 12. In addition, the horseshoe, which is one the earliest symbols found in heraldry 13 can be seen as a “safeguard against evil spirits” and may still be found nailed above doorways today. 14