The four main devices (symbols) in the Frost blazon are the trefoil, chevron, thistle and owl. The two main tinctures (colors) are vert and gules.
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” 1. 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 2. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 3. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”4. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 5. 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).6
Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 7. The trefoil may originally been a representation of a specific plant (perhaps shamrock) but it has been used as a symbol almost since the beginning of heraldry and over time has adopted a stylised aspect. 8. Guillim believes that it signifies “perpetuity…the just man shall never wither”. 9
The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 10, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.11. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 12, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.
The thistle as a symbol is inevitably associated with Scotland, although more often as a badge rather than appearing as an item upon a shield. 13 Despite its prickly reputation the images of this flowering plant are very striking and they are usually shown with leaves to either side in quite an accurate representation. 14