The two main devices (symbols) in the Werttorf blazon are the pale and chief. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, argent and gules .
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 1. 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” 2.
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) 3. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 4.
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”5. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 6. 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).7
The Pale is one of the major, so called ordinaries, significant objects that extend across the entire field of the shield. The pale being a broad vertical band up the centre of the shield 8. In origin, the word probably has its roots in the same place as palisade, a defensive wall made of closely space upright timbers. Indeed, it is possible that the original “pales” arose where a wooden shield was constructed of vertical planks painted in different hues 9. This is perhaps why Wade, a writer on Heraldic Symbology suggested that denotes “military strength and fortitude” 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.