The three main devices (symbols) in the Hazlewood blazon are the squirrel, hazel branch and saltire. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and azure.
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.3.
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 4. 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” 5.
The squirrel is a quite delightful charge, always shown sitting upright (known as sejant) and eating a nut, 6 in a most lifelike manner (as this author can attest due to the presence of exactly such a creature outside his window as I write this). It should not surprise us that the significance of such a creature upon a coat of arms is a love of the “sylvan retirement” to be found in the woods and forest. 7
Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 8. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock 9 Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor 10
The saltire is one the major ordinaries, large charges that occupy the whole of the field 11. Arguably one of the best uses of this device is that of the St. Andrews Cross, a white saltire on a blue background found on the Scottish flag. The saltire is obviously closely related to the Cross, and Wade in his work on Heraldic Symbology suggests additionally that it alludes to “Resolution”, whilst Guillim, an even more ancient writer, somewhat fancifully argues that it is awarded to those who have succesfully scaled the walls of towns! 12