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In heraldry, chief refers both to the topmost position of the shield and the ordinary that takes that position.

The Chief in Italian Heraldry

In Italian heraldry the chief is referred to as the capo. The addition of certain capi were often used to declare political allegiance. The two most famous cases of this are the capo d'Angio and the capo dell'Impero, which were used by the Guelfs and Ghibellines respectively from the twelfth to fifteenth centuries.

The Guelf capo d'Angio consisted of a label gules over three fleurs de lis or on a chief azure. On occasion semy de lis was used instead of just three. This was based on the arms of the House of Anjou.

The Ghibelline capo dell'Impero consisted of an eagle (either single or double headed, usually crowned) sable on a chief or. It symbolised allegiance to the Holy Roman Empire.