June 8, 2013 by phicks2012
I love Heraldry. As a result, and because very
few people really know a lot about it, I’ve
decided to include in my blog some basic
information about how heraldics “coat of arms”
were put together back in the early days.
In my first two blogs I told you about the
heraldic tinctures and about the field. This
time I’m going to talk about the Charges,
starting with “The Ordinaries”. Ordinaries are
geometrical charges placed upon the field,
generally going all the way to the edges of the
field, and they must contrast with it.
Ordinaries include the Fess (a horizontal bar),
the pale (a vertical bar), the bend and bend
sinister (diagonal bars), the cross (self-
explanitory), the saltire (an X), the Pall (an
inverted Y), and the chevron (an inverted V).
They also include peripheral charges like the
chief (covering roughly the upper third of the
field), a Base (covering roughly the lower
third), and other peripheral charges like
flaunches, tierces, gores, gussets, and piles
(some graphic examples shown below).
As with lines of division, all of these charges
can have simple or complex outlines (within
reason), and that will be covered in our next