The two main devices (symbols) in the Jude blazon are the chevron and boars head. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and gules.
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.
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.4. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 5. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 6, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
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 7, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.8. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 9, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.
In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig was a much more commonly seen animal than today. It was also known as a sanglier. 10 It can appear in many of the same poses that we see for the lion, but has its own (easily imagined!) position known as enraged! 11 We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with the warrior. 12