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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Bendy of six vert and ar. a chief erm. Crest—A spur rowel betw. two wings ppr.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Loat Coat of Arms and Family Crest

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Loat Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Loat blazon are the wings, chief, bendy and wings. The three main tinctures (colors) are vert, argent and ermine .

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!

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 4. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5.

Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century 6 It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found 7. The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.8. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.

Wings are frequently observed in coats of arms. Unless otherwise specified they should be shown as eagle’s wings, with a realistic appearance. 9 They can appear singly or in pairs, in which form they are very often found in the crest, which rests above the shield in a full achievement of arms. Wade, quoting Quillim, suggests that the use of the wing on the shield signifies “celerity and protection or covering”. 10

The chief is an area across the top of the field 11. It appears in many different forms and can itself be charged with other charges and ordinaries, 12, being treated almost as if it were a completely separate area. In its simplest form it can be clearly identified. Early examples include the award by Henry III of England to the knight Robert de MORTEYN BRETON of Ermine, a chief gules.

Knowing that the bend is a diagonal stripe of colour, we can easily conclude that bendy is the variant whereby the whole of the shield is covered with diagonal stripes of alternating colours, usually around 4 or 5 of each colour. 13 We should not assign any particular significance to the choice of this pattern, but rather more to the colours they are composed of.

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References

  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 2 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert
  • 3 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 4 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 5 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 6 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69
  • 7 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39
  • 8 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28
  • 9 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Wing
  • 10 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P73
  • 11 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40
  • 12 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chief
  • 13 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bend