The two main devices (symbols) in the Daverport blazon are the spade and lion passant. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and or.
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 1. 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” 2.
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” 3. 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 4. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 5.
It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 6 being a common and important example of these, of which the spade is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 7, let alone know what to use it for! Nevertheless, for mediaeval peasant it was a clearly identifiable symbol. For its symbolism we need look little further than its intended use, as a tool of the working man.
There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised 8 but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms 9. The lion passant is an example of these modified form, showing the creature on all fours, as if walking proudly. In common with all reprensentations of the lion it can be taken to be an “emblem of deathless courage”. 10