Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Heraldic Colors-Meanings for Lords and Knights

When choosing his "Houses" (family) colors/tinctures (as well as symbols-visit: http://www.fleurdelis.com/meanings.htm for meanings of some of the most common designs), a Lord would often use a common list of color meanings to make a statement about himself and his beliefs.

Common Color Meanings
Metal Gold (Or): Wisdom. Generosity, Faith, Glory
Metal Silver (Argent): Innocence, Peace, Purity, Sincerity, Truth

Black (Sable): Consistency, Grief, Prudence, Wisdom
Blue (Azure): Chastity, Faith, Loyalty, Strength, Truth
Green (Vert): Abundance, Hope, Joy, Loyalty in Love
Maroon (Sanquine): Fortitude, Patient in Battle, Victorious
Orange (Tawny/Tenne): Worthy Ambition
Purple (Purpure): Justice, Regal, Royal Majesty, Sovereignty, Temperance
Red (Gules): Magnanimity, Martyr, Military Strength, Warrior

Furs: were usually identified via black dots on a colored field and most often represented "Dignity." Ermine was one the most common fur design. A standard rule of tincture was metal must never be placed upon metal, nor colour upon colour, this is thought to have allowed a stronger contrast, making the shield design stand out clearer.

The significance each color could vary somewhat between countries and over time; but these are among the most common meanings.

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