The two main devices (symbols) in the Markington blazon are the bend and orle. The two main tinctures (colors) are ermines and gules.
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.1The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 4Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 5A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 6The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49.
Over time the shape of the heraldic shield has become most frequently represented as the rounded triangle known as a heater shape. So pleasing is this shape that it appears in its own right both as an escutcheon (the filled shape) and the orle, which is a broad outline of the shape. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Orle. A larger number of small charges may also be described as in orle when they are arranged to mimic the shape of the shield outline. 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P141