Coat of Arms - Charges A


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The sign of the acorn represents independence, strength and antiquity in its bearer. The acorn is usually vert (green) but it can also be other colors.



A small shield attached to the shoulder of an armed knight. Also known as emerasses. It is a symbol of one who was a knight banneret.



Signifies one who, having been maimed and lamed in war, was thus prevented from fully asserting his power. An eagle without a beak or feet, with wings expanded and tips turned downward. Denotes imperialists vanquished and disarmed.



An allocamelus is a creature with the head of a donkey joined to the body of a camel. Some referred to it as an ass-camel. Although extremely uncommon, it is believed to represent patient perseverance.



A tall circular pedestal, generally borne inflamed. Represents glory, burning devotion and spirituality.



An amphiptère is a winged serpent that symbolizes swiftness and coverture (protection) of one's home and family.



An amphisboena, a winged serpent with two legs and a head at each end of its body, is said to represent one who strikes at the enemy with swiftness and cunning.


It is similar to the amphistere which is found in French heraldry and is shown with dragon feet and a tail that ends in one or more serpents.



The anchor is the emblem of salvation, hope and religious steadfastness. It is a frequently used symbol for the coat of arms of a family with a seafaring tradition. Thus, it is a common figure in English armory and for some families along the coast of Scotland.



The angel is always shown in full aspect, with the wings extended and the point up. It represents the bearer of joyful news. It also symbolizes dignity, glory and honor. The symbol of an angel may also indicate missionary work of supporting others.



The annulet is a plain ring. As a closed circle, it is symbolic of continuity, wholeness and fidelity. It also signified that the bearer had royal favor and protection. The Romans are said to have worn a ring as a sign of knighthood. The annulet may have been used to indicate that the bearer had the superior qualities of a knight. In some circles, an annulet represented riches. On English arms, an annulet was sometimes the sign of the fifth son.



The symbol of the ant traditionally signified one who was a strong laborer, wise and provident in all his affairs. The ant is one of the few insects used in heraldry. It is usually depicted with an anthill. Also known as Emmet.


Antelope - Ibex

Earlier arms usually depicted the heraldic antelope, a mythical animal that had little resemblance to an antelope. It was drawn with the body of a stag, the tail of a unicorn, a tusk at the tip of the nose, and two straight horns that were serrated on one side. With the heraldic antelope is grouped the ibex, which belongs to the goat-tribe.


With this description, it is little wonder that the antelope signifies harmony, political shrewdness, and peace. The antelope has also been used occasionally as an emblem of purity and fleetness. Later arms depicted a more natural looking antelope.



Antlers represent strength and fortitude. See also HORNS.



The symbol of the anvil borne on a shield or Coat of Arms is a symbol of honor. It may indicate that the first bearer was a smith.



The ape was considered a symbol of sin, malice, craftiness and lust. It has been suggested that the symbol was to serve as a reminder to the bearer of ones' morals, ethics, and religion and that he bore a moral obligation to conquer all sins.


The ape is not a very common symbol in heraldry but, when it is found, it is usually "collared and chained," with the collar encircling its waist rather than its neck.



Apples symbolize liberality, felicity, peace and salvation. All kinds of fruit were considered to be symbols of God's kindness and a symbol of the goodness of providence.



The apre or apres is an imaginary with a body that resembles a bull with the tail of a bear. It is believed to symbolize tenacity and bravery in the protection of home and family.



May be single or double. Symbolizes a governor or magistrate.

arm in armor

Arm in Armor

Represents a person who has served as a leader or has the qualities of leadership. A person fit for high deeds.

bare arm

Arm - Bare

A bare (naked) arm represents an industrious person, one who believes in and engages in hard work.



The arrow is said to be a weapon "destined for avengement." Arrows symbolize martial readiness. If depicted with a cross, it represents an affliction as the result of war. In the case of Polish armory, bows and arrows signify a man resolved to challenge himself to the utmost in battle, and who is prepared to fight to the death, if necessary.



Similar to an arrow, an arrowhead represents readiness for military duty and defense. The arrowhead may also represent one who bears an affliction. See also PHEON.


Ass - Donkey

Represents patience and humility. The ass may also be associated with one who fulfills their Christian duty.



Execution of military duty. See also BATTLE AXE.