AÂ coat of arms is a distinctiveÂ heraldic design on a tunic used to cover and protect armor, but the term is more broadly applied to mean a full heraldicÂ achievementÂ which consists of a shield and certain accessories. In either sense, the design is a symbol unique to a person, family, corporation, or state. Such displays are also commonly calledÂ armorial bearings,Â armorial devices,Â heraldic devices, orÂ arms.
Historically, armorial bearings were first used byÂ feudal lords andÂ knights in the mid-12th century on battlefields as a way to identify allied from enemy soldiers. As the uses for heraldic designs expanded, other social classes who never would march in battle began to assume arms for themselves. Initially, those closest to the lords and knights adopted arms, such as persons employed as squires that would be in common contact with the armorial devices. Then priests and other ecclesiastical dignities adopted coats of arms, usually to be used as seals and other such insignia, and then towns and cities to likewise seal and authenticate documents. Eventually by the mid-13th century, peasants, commoners and burghers were adopting heraldic devices. The widespread assumption of arms led some states to regulate heraldry within their borders. However, in most of continental Europe, citizens freely adopted armorial bearings.
Despite no widespread regulation, and even with a lack in many cases of national-level regulation, heraldry has remained rather consistent across Europe, where traditions alone have governed the design and use of arms. UnlikeÂ seals and other generalÂ emblems, heraldic achievements have a formal description called aÂ blazon, expressed in a jargon that allows for consistency in heraldic depictions. american client with a half scottish blood gets his coat of arms design, done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall makati manila.