Corporate & Personal Arms

The use of Heraldry in Corporate and Personal Arms, known as Armorial Bearings, or more familiarly and incorrectly ‘a Coat of Arms’ provides a much better visual interest than does the use of the ‘Logo’, although the latter undoubtedly has a definite place in everyday use.

Letters Patent of Thomas Grey
An example of Letters Patent

'Letters Patent’ upon which the Arms are depicted is shown here on the left granting Thomas Grey, of Underhill in the County of Glamorgan, Armorial Bearings. At the top left are depicted the Arms as granted and painted by The College of Arms in London. Second from left are the Arms of the Duke of Norfolk, authorising as the head of the College and on behalf of the Sovereign; third left are depicted The Royal Arms, as the fount of authority and top right are the Arms of The College of Heralds. At the bottom are the wax seals of the officiating and granting Officers, G.E.Cockayne (Clarenceaux) and William H.Waldon (Norroy) and issued on 3rd March 1904.

The display of a full Achievement of Arms are a pictorial and symbolical representation of the corporate or personal user.

The description, or explanation, of such Arms is termed the 'Blazon' and is couched in a language and style peculiar to Heraldry.

Arms of the Royal Borough
of Kensington & Chelsea

Arms of The Open University

Arms of Doncaster & Templestowe, Victoria, with Supporters

Arms of The Chartered Institute
of Marketing, complete with Supporters & Compartment

Arms of the Institute of Export,
still Corporate Arms
but without supporters.

Arms of The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company Limited (P and O S.N.Co.Ltd.) Granted 16th June 1937 on the company's Centenary Anniversary of its foundation.

An‘Achievement of Arms’
is often, ignorantly and very wrongly called the “crest”.

Arms, i.e. the Shield and what is shown thereon,
can exist without a crest but a crest
CANNOT exist without a SHIELD

Gentleman's Coat of Arms

Left: An example of Personal Arms of a ‘Gentleman’, (i.e. not a member of the Nobility). These Arms follow the Tudor tradition of having Gules doubled Argent (Red and Silver) for the Mantling instead of ‘of the colours’, i.e. Vert and Or (Green and Gold).

In the case of Noble and Corporate Arms, the achievement consists, in the main, of five main sections: (1) The Shield, the most important part, without which there would be NO arms; and upon which the ‘charges’ are shown; (2) The Helm, (or helmet) which displays the ‘Crest’, and surmounts the shield and is usually shown ‘affronte’ or facing the onlooker; (3) the Supporters - which are placed on either side of the shield to support it; (4) the Mantling, the stylised silk ribbons which flow from the crest and helmet and are usually, but not always, of the same colour as the main colours on the shield; (5) the Compartment, upon which the shield and supporters stand and in front of which, if requested by the grantee, a Motto can be shown. Armorial Bearings for ‘Gentlemen’, i.e. not members of the Nobility, do not have supporters and the Helm is shown facing to the observers ‘left’ (see the example of Personal Arms above)
Contact the Heraldry Society
Return to Other Interests