Coat of Arms -- Instructions

Information on the history and design of coats of arms and shields can be found in most encyclopedias under the heading "Heraldry." You can also find background information here. Use your research and your own creativity, but base your design primarily on accurate clues from your reading. Include the textual references which were used as the basis for your planning.

  1. Divisions: Divide the shield into sections; for example, use bars, diagonals, a cross, or create your own.
  2. Symbols: Adopt symbols for your person, such as animals (deer, lion, horse, bird, rabbit), man-made objects (castle, sword, key, shovel, gun), or items from nature (tree, flower, fruit).
  3. Colors: Choose a metal (gold, silver, copper) and a color (or colors) for your coat of arms. Then color in the shield accordingly.
  4. Motto: Create an inscription or motto; then write it on the scroll provided on the page.

In several paragraphs, explain the significance of the various elements of the coat-of-arms which you have designed for your person. You will need your own paper for this or you may print a special explanation form.

You can choose from two basic shield designs. Each page should print easily from your browser.

Shield One OR Shield Two OR Explanation Sheet

Student Samples from Classical Literature Fall 1999

Shields could reveal personality, as well as genealogical history. The crook-backed Duke of Gloucester who became Richard III, for example, was represented by a hog

"Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog,"
Shakespeare`s Queen Margaret calls him, rather nastily;
strictly speaking, his sign was a boar.

Links for Internet Information on Heraldry

Useful Websites

Heraldry on the Internet
Heraldry Links Page -- Links

British College of Arms
Elizabethan Heraldry
Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry

Roger the Herald's Notes on Blazonry for Beginners --
home page includes free software for PCs and directions.

Assignments OR Projects for Reports OR Home.