Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms -- Instructions

Information on the history and design of coats of arms and shields can be found in most encyclopedias under the heading "Heraldry." You can also find background information here. Use your research and your own creativity, but base your design primarily on accurate clues from your reading. Include the textual references which were used as the basis for your planning.

  1. Divisions: Divide the shield into sections; for example, use bars, diagonals, a cross, or create your own.
  2. Symbols: Adopt symbols for your person, such as animals (deer, lion, horse, bird, rabbit), man-made objects (castle, sword, key, shovel, gun), or items from nature (tree, flower, fruit).
  3. Colors: Choose a metal (gold, silver, copper) and a color (or colors) for your coat of arms. Then color in the shield accordingly.
  4. Motto: Create an inscription or motto; then write it on the scroll provided on the page.

In several paragraphs, explain the significance of the various elements of the coat-of-arms which you have designed for your person. You will need your own paper for this or you may print a special explanation form.

You can choose from two basic shield designs. Each page should print easily from your browser.

Shield One OR Shield Two OR Explanation Sheet


Student Samples from Norman High School North 

Shields could reveal personality, as well as genealogical history. The crook-backed Duke of Gloucester who became Richard III, for example, was represented by a hog

"Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog,"
Shakespeare`s Queen Margaret calls him, rather nastily;
strictly speaking, his sign was a boar.

Useful Websites

Heraldry Links Page -- Links
British College of Arms

Roger the Herald's Notes on Blazonry for Beginners --
home page includes free software for PCs and directions.

 Thanks to Ms. Sandra Effinger of Norman High School North, Norman, OK for her shields assignment and her generous willingness to share materials

Need more help? Read questions and answers from fellow students below. If you're question hasn't already been asked, ask it now.

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I have a copper shield with fire breathing dragons in oposite corner and stars on the side, and a crown with crosses at the top, do you know what it is from?