The two main devices (symbols) in the Ditchfield blazon are the bear and pineapple. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and sable.
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 1. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 2.
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 3. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 4. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 5.
The bear is more common in the arms of continental Europe than in British arms (possibly due to the lack of bears native to that country!), although the county of Warwickshire famously includes a bear in its arms. 6 Wade tells us that the bear is the “emblem of ferocity and the protection of kindred”. 7
The pineapple is not the tropical fruit (virtually unknown in mediaeval Europe) but litterally the “apple” found on a fir tree, otherwise known as a fir cone or pine cone. 8 Wade suggests that it symbolises “life”, perhaps due to the promise of new birth from the seeds contained with the cone. 9