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The blazon is the textual description of a heraldic insignia, like a device, shield of arms or badge. The terms used often have a meaning specific to heraldry. For instance, the words for colours are all based on Old French.

Order of Blazoning

This is the order in which a shield of arms is described.

Example (SCA Device of Lochac)


The device for Lochac looks difficult to blazon because it is unusually complex, however if taken step by step the task is simple.

The first step is to describe the field, i.e. the background colours. In this case it is divided into quarters alternating blue and white. This is described as quarterly azure and argent. Note that azure is mentioned first because it occupies the dexter chief corner of the shield.

The next step is to describe any ordinaries present and the charges on them. In this case there is one ordinary present, a red cross which we call a cross gules. We then describe the charges on the ordinary which are four white stars around a white crown. We call stars of this sort "mullets", and since mullets default to five points we have to specify mullets of six points. The next part of the blazon is therefore on a cross gules a crown between four mullets of six points argent. Note that if the stars were not on a cross we would need to specify their position by saying four mullets in cross.

The final stage is to mention any leftover charges. In this case it is the Laurel wreath. We first describe its position, so the final part of the blazon is in canton a laurel wreath argent. As the tincture argent has been mentioned twice in succession we eliminate the previous mention of it.

The full blazon is therefore: Quarterly azure and argent, on a cross gules a crown between four mullets of six points, in canton a laurel wreath argent.

See also