Heraldry is the medieval art and science that deals with the creation, use, and recognition of visual displays that identify an individual person, guild, town, office or other entity. This was typically done through much of the Middle Ages using a painted shield which bore a (largely) unique arrangement of division lines, and objects known as "charges". Early in the Medieval period, this "coat of arms" was unique to an individual, only becoming associated with a family in the late Renaissance.
In the SCA, heraldry is concerned with ceremonies and Courts, the crying of announcements and proclaimations, the pomp and circumstance of the Tournament, and the authentication and registration of members' persona names and arms or badges. These areas of interest give rise to the terms "court heraldry" and "field (or list) heraldry" (both also known as "voice heraldry") and "book heraldry" (which also includes the background work and research in arranging ceremonies).
In the SCA, modern and period worlds, heraldry tends to be governed by the rules set by a College of Arms.
- Line divisions
- Heraldic achievement