The average family Coat of Arms is comprised of several different sections.
The crest, named by the French Cimier, from Cime, meaning the top or apex, and by the Italians Cimierot originated in the nec4ssity of distinguishing one knight from another in a tournament and on the battlefield. As early as the year 1101, a seal of Philip, Count of Flanders, represents-himself with his crest. For a century and a half later, few of lesser degree than sovereigns carried this mark of distinction. When crests first became more popular, we find the crest a mere emanation of the Arms,
Originally, crests were carved of light wood, or made of boiled leather passed into a mould and fastened to the helmet by the torce or wreath. The torce was formed by two pieces of silk, twisted together six times by the lady who chose the,bearer for her knight,
The helmet is usually one of simple design, and from it falls the mantle clothe worn by the warrior into battles It falls down both sides of the battleshield.
The mantle is named from the French word, "Manteaug" and served as a protection to repel the extremity of wet, cold, and heat, and to preserve the accoutrements from rusting. The mantle is sometimes termed a Lambrequin or Lamequin, The numerous cuts and strips into which it is divided, indicate that it has been torn in the field of battle, and betokened a certain evidence of prowess.
The shield on your Coat of Arms is an exact replica of the battleshield carried by the warrior into battle as a means of protection and as a mark of identification. Early Coats of Arms were of simple design, so they would be easily recognized, Coats of Arms were not used in wars until the Crusades (1096-1271) after which their registrations became more numerous and elaborate,
History of Heraldry
Heraldry defined is, 'the art of blazoning, asseing, and marshalling coat armour.' The origin of emblems may certainly be traced to the ea-rliest times. Noah and Japhet had distinctive armorial bearings even in Biblical times, The most ancient Coat Of Arms that has been discovered was registered in the year 1010, to the Count of Wasserburg, from Bavaria, Germany. The earliest heraldic document that has been located in the Briti@sh Islesp was a Roll of Arms made between the years 1240 and 1245, containing the Arms of the knights under the reign of King Henry III of England. Generally, heraldry as a science cannot be traced to the early year of 1200.
After a battle or campaign, the knight would return to his castle, and the vassalto his modest home and each would hang his shield and helmet upon the wall. The helmet was always positioned above the shield. Coats of Arts are drawn in this style today, due to this ancient tradition.
In England and Wales, Coats of Arms were granted under the authority of the Earl Marshal, by Garter, and the Provincial Kings, according to their jurisdictions. Under Europe, Arms were granted in a similar manner, each historical province or state or ancient kingdom having its own King of Arms.
Heraldry was useful in the past and is in the present. It exists today as art and a science of armorial bearings and genealogies.