Aldarion submitted a new blog post: Basics of Heraldry This article is by by Toni Šušnjar. Distinctive personal insignia on shields had been used to identify warriors in battle since 800 BC in Phrygia. But this insignia was not heraldry as it was not hereditary (familial). Heraldry appeared in mid-12th century, and flourished during 13th and 14th centuries. First formal heraldry in England appeared in 1127 when Henry I gave a shield to his son-in-law, Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, as a wedding present. Geoffrey's shield would descend to his grandson. Development of heraldry was given impetus in 12th century crusades, especially the Third Crusade. Early shields were simple devices with one or two colours, and had no principles of heraldry or any semblance of standardization. This changed only in 1484 when Richard III founded College of Arms. Heraldry is granted by king (or, rather, College of Arms) to: people (barons, knights, other individuals) places (counties, cities, boroughs, towns) institutions (armed forces, national services, companies, ecclesiastical arms) Heraldry necessarily became more complex as more and more people were given right to bear arms. In France, by the 13th century many members of bourgeois were given right to bear arms, and by the end of the century that practice was widespread. This right spread further – first example of a peasant bearing arms occurs in 1369 (Jacquier... Continue reading the Original Blog Post.