Heraldry Symbolism             
By Betty Matteson Rhodes                        


The meaning of a Coat of Arms                            
            "In general... It is fruitless to try to determine "the meaning" of a specific coat of arms.
Coats of arms were, for the most part, freely adopted by individuals at some point in the Middle Ages or later. In almost all cases, it is impossible to say what meaning, if any, they saw in the arms they adopted. Even in the case of grants of arms, it is usually not known who designed the arms (the recipient or the royal herald) and what he had in mind.
But...
There are exceptions, of course. For example, there are cases where an anecdote, true or legendary, is attached to the origin of a coat of arms. Also, for the most prestigious and important coats of arms, such as those of kingdoms, legends built up over their origins, and symbolic meaning was attached to them as well."
  http://www.heraldica.org/topics/meaning.htm


Do the Lost Tribes have a Right to Use Heraldic Arms?
http://the-red-thread.net/genealogy/the-right-to-arms.html

To Order your Surname Coat of Arms
http://the-red-thread.net/genealogy/lost-tribes-coat-of-arms.html

Search House of Names for your family's name:
For Surname
George Washington Coat of Arms Coat of Arms for George Washington
prepared by Betmatrho
George Washington (1732-1799)
Coat of Arms:  Argent, two bars beneath three mullets gules:
The bars and mullets became the stars and stripes of the American Flag.

The white shield with two horizonal red bars and three red stars each with a hole in the center. The holes were represented in the  original Washington shield.

"The stars and stripes correctly called bars and mullets, heraldically joined the crusader cross of the Lawrence family when Edmund Lawrence married Agnes de Wessington, in 1390. In 1540 the Lawrence's came to Steeple, whilst a descendant of the Washington's settled in Virginia and became the great grandfather of George Washington, the first President of the USA.

The coat of arms appears above the north door at Steeple church, on a stone shield in the south porch, and is repeated four times inside the building, on the barrel-vaulted roof panels."
http://www.thedorsetpage.com/locations/Place/S220.htm



The meaning of symbolic colors and images on the Washington shield, [using the descriptions listed below].


Mullet (Star) = Divine quality from above; mark of third son
Red stripes Red (Gules)  = Warrior or martyr; Military strength and magnanimity  
Bar, Barry, or Barrulet, Fess =  "One who sets the bar of conscience, religion, and honour against angry passions and evil temptations" acc. to Guillim
Fess/Fesse = Military belt or girdle of honour; represents readiness to serve the public

Jewish Heraldry >http://www.heraldica.org/topics/jewish.htm
"Jews in Europe used heraldry, like everyone else. Indeed, it is a striking counter-example to the misconception that heraldry was ever the preserve of the nobility or the knights, that Jews have been using coats of arms as far back as the 14th century, not only privately but also in their official dealings with Gentiles (e.g., seals on legal documents). "
British Heraldry >http://www.heraldica.org/topics/britain/index.html
"The regulation of English heraldry between 1530 and 1688 has led many writers to project back into the Middle Ages concepts and beliefs of later times. In particular, one often sees the claim made that, in Medieval England, arms were restricted to the knightly class, or at least to the gentry. Furthermore, by equating gentry with nobility, some reach the conclusion that arms were restricted to the nobility. One aim of this essay is to debunk these notions.
Prior to the 16th century, heraldry was unregulated in England, just as it was unregulated in all European countries. No laws or institutions prevented anyone from adopting arms as they pleased. Heraldry spread from the noble and knightly class to the merchant, craftsmen and farming classes from the 14th century on. "
Heraldry in Ireland >http://www.heraldica.org/topics/national/ireland.htm
"Heraldry is known to have existed in Ireland by the 13th century, imported by the English conquerors. Some traditional Celtic symbols have been incorporated in the arms of some families. "
Heraldry in the United States > http://www.heraldica.org/topics/usa/usherleg.htm
Here's what the US constitution says ( Article I, sections 9 and 10):
No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
No state shall...grant any title of nobility.

What the Colors and Symbols can mean on a Coat of Arms
COLORS  - found on a crest, coat of arms or in Tartans

The colors can have special meaning on a "family crest" or coat of arms: 


  • Gold (Or) Generosity and elevation of the mind
  • Silver or White (Argent) Peace and sincerity
  • Red (Gules) Warrior or martyr; Military strength and magnanimity
  • Blue (Azure) Truth and loyalty
  • Green (Vert) Hope, joy, and loyalty in love
  • Black (Sable) Constancy or grief
  • Purple (Purpure) Royal majesty, sovereignty, and justice
  • Orange (Tawny or Tenne) Worthy ambition
  • Maroon (Sanguine or Murray) Patient in battle, and yet victorious

METALS:  
Gold  means noble - the Sun. originally only princes could wear it.
Argent Silver - sincerity,  peace, the moon


Meaning of Lines on a Coat of Arms

Nebuly Line Clouds or air
Wavy Line Sea or water
Engrailed Line Earth or land
Invected Line Earth or land
Indented Line Fire
Dancette Line Water
Raguly Line Difficulties that have been encountered
Embattled Line Walls of a fortress or town (also, fire)


Meaning of symbols on a Coat of Arms

Acacia Branch or Leaves =  Eternal and affectionate remembrance
Acorn  = Antiquity and strength.
Agricultural Tools  = Labouring in the earth and depending upon providence; see also Scythe and Sickle
Alisaunder = (Similar to laurel) Peace and/or triumph.
Allerion = (Mythical creature, similar to an eagle, but without beak or claws) Strength of will and authority of mind.
Anchor = Hope; religious steadfastness
Angels = Dignity, glory, and honour; missionary; bearer of joyful news
Annulet = (finger ring) Fidelity
Ant = Great labour, wisdom, and providence in one's affairs
Antelope = (heraldic) A mythical animal with the body of a stag, the tail of a unicorn, a tusk at the tip of the nose, tufts down the back of the neck, chest, and thighs (usually represented with two straight horns serrated on one side)
Antlers = Strength and fortitude
Anvil = Honour; emblem of the smith's trade
Apple =  Liberality, felicity, and peace
Arm = (or Hand) in Armour or Embowed A person with qualities of leadership
Arm, Naked An industrious person
Arrow or Dart =  Readiness (for battle); if depicted with a cross, represents an affliction
Ass [donkey] = Patience and humility
Axe (Also Halbert, Halberd, Hatchet) =  Execution of military duty
Baguette (gem ring) = Fidelity
Banderole   = are Banners
Banners  = Refer to special action in which bearer was captured, or a reward for valiant service
Bar, Barry, or Barrulet =  "One who sets the bar of conscience, religion, and honour against angry passions and evil temptations" acc. to Guillim
Barry Wavy = Troubles keep us in continuous exercise and reminders of providence (as waves in a storm at sea)
Bat = Awareness of the powers of darkness and chaos.
Baton = Token of authority
Battle Axe  = Execution of military duty
Bay Leaves = Poet or victor's laurel
Beacon (Also Lantern or Lighthouse )=  One who is watchful, who gave the signal in time of danger
Bear = Strength, cunning, ferocity in the protection of one's kindred
Beaver =  Industry and perseverance
Bee = Efficient industry
Bells = Power to disperse evil spirits; a hawk's bells denotes one who was not afraid of signalling his approach in peace or war
Bend/Bendy = Scarf or shield suspender of a knight commander; signifies defense or protection
Berries = Liberality, felicity, and peace
Bezant/Byzantine Coin = (Also Besant; Gold Roundle) Worthy of trust of treasure.
Billet/Billettee Bricks or letters =  (correspondence); one who obtained credence, knowledge, and faith in his words and deeds; one who is secret in one's affairs.
Birdbolt  = Small arrow with blunt head.
Bishop's Mitre  = Authority
Blasted Tree  = without leaves, withered
Boar  = Bravery; fights to the death
Boar's Head  = Hospitality
Bonacon = Bull with horse's tail and short mane.
Bomb  = (Mortar piece) One who has dared the terror of such a weapon in battle
Bones  = (crossed thighbones) Mortality
Book =   If open, manifestation; if closed, counsel
Border =  Difference between relatives bearing the same arms; also an augmentation of an honour
Bourdon = pilgrim's or palmer's staff -- knob at upper end, point at bottom, hook near top
Bow  = Readiness (for battle)
Bow and Arrow  = War, power, ability to hit a target
Braced = Interlaced
Bracket  = May be single or double; right angle-shaped support, as in a shelf support
Bridge  = Governor or magistrate
Broom = Plant Humility
Buck  = One who will not fight unless provoked; peace and harmony
Buckle = Victorious fidelity in authority
Buglass = (purple quatrefoil) Hope and joy.
Bull/Buffalo = Valour, bravery, generosity
Bull's Head =  Valour, bravery, generosity
Bull's Horns = Strength and fortitude
Butterfly = Psyche or Soul
Cadences = (Marks of Cadences) Used to differentiate the heirs in a family.
Caduceus = Homeopathic medicine; medical profession; balance and the union of opposing forces
Candle =  (Lamp) Light, life, and spirituality.
Camel  = Docility, patience, and perseverance
Cannon and Cannon Balls =  One who has dared the terror of such a weapon in battle
Candle =  (Lamp) Light, life, and spirituality
Canton =  As in a flag borne at the top corner of the shield; reward from the sovereign for performance of eminent service
Cap = of Maintenance Granted to British peers and Scottish feudal barons
Carpenter's Square= Conforming one's actions to the laws of right and equity
Castle =  (Tower/Chateau) Safety
Cat = (Also Wildcat or Lynx) Liberty, vigilance, forecast, and courage
Catherine Wheel  = One prepared to undergo great trials for the Christian faith
Centaur = Eminence in the field of battle
Chains = Reward for acceptable and weighty service; with crowns and collars, this suggests the bearer bore the chain of obligation or obliged others because of services done
Chapeau  = Granted to British peers and Scottish feudal barons 
Chaplet = (Floral)  Usually with green leaves and four roses: the crown of joy and admiration
Chequy = Constancy
Cherubs & Cherubim =  Dignity, glory, and honour; missionary; bearer of joyful news
Chess Rook =  Strategic thinking
Chevron = Protection; Builders or others who have accomplished some work of faithful service
Chief = Top one-third of the shield; signifies dominion and authority; often granted as a special reward for prudence and wisdom or successful command in war
Chough =  (Cornish Crow) Strategist in battle; watchful for friends
Church =  Religion; faith; community
Cinquefoils  = Hope and joy
Civic Wreath =  (of oak leaves and acorns) One who saved a fellow citizen's life or shown patriotism in defense of one's native land
Clarion  = Ready for war
Claw of a Bird =  Note the preyer that has been preyed upon
Clouds =  Mystery, obscured truth
Cock  = (male bird) Courage and perseverance; hero; able man in politics
Cockatrice  = (small serpent) Terror to all beholders
Column = Fortitude and constancy; with serpent coiled around it, wisdom with fortitude
Comet =  Unknown
Compass =  Direction
Compony  = or Gobony Constancy
Cornish Chough =  (crow, raven) Strategist in battle; watchful for friends; divine providence
Cornucopia =  (horn of plenty) The bounty of nature's gifts
Cottice/Cotice  = (bendlet) Scarf or shield suspender of a knight commander; signifies defense or protection
Coupeaux = (Hills - usually three) Unknown; may be purely an artistic device
Crane =  (Stork) Close parental bond; Vigilance if holding a rock
Crescent =  One who has been honored by the sovereign; hope of greater glory (horns to the chief)
Cresset =  (Beacon) One who is watchful, who gave the signal in time of danger
Crosier/shepherd's crook =  The shepherd's watchfulness; Christian faith; pastoral authority; also Episcopal jurisdiction and authority
Cross  = Faith; Christianity; Service in the Crusades
Cross =  (Celtic) Unity of heaven and earth
Cross  = (Constantine's; Labarum) Good omen; Christ; Christianity
Cross =  Crosslet Signifies the fourfold mystery of the cross
Cross  = Crosslet Fitchee A combination of cross and sword; unshakeable faith
Cross =  Flory (Patoncee) (cross flowered at each end) One who has conquered
Cross  = Formee (Pattee) Military honour
Cross =  (Maltese) Blessings; badge of Knights Hospitalier
Cross  = Moline The mutual converse of human society (said to represent a millstone)
Cross = Raguly Difficulties encountered
Cross  = Roucy Faith
Crossed thighbones =  Mortality
Crow  = Strategist in battle; watchful for friends; divine providence
Crown  = Royal or seigniorial authority
Crown = (Mural) Defender of a fortress, token of civic honour; one who first mounted the breach in the walls of a fortress
Crown = (Naval) One who first boarded an enemy's ship; distinguished naval commander
Crown of thorns = Adversity
Cup =  (often covered) Office of the king's butler
Cushions =  Authority
Cygnet = (young swan) Where gorged with a crown around its neck, signifies dignity
Cypress = Death and eternal life thereafter
Dagger or dart = Justice and military honour
Dawle=  (black quatrefoil) Hope and joy
Decrescent = One who has been honored by the sovereign; hope of greater glory (crescent with horns to the sinister)
Deer =  One who will not fight unless provoked; peace and harmony
Dice = Constancy
Dog = Courage, vigilance, and loyalty
Dolphin = Swiftness, diligence, salvation, charity, and love
Dove =  Loving constancy and peace; the Holy Spirit; with an olive branch in its bill, it signifies a harbinger of good tidings
Dragon = Valiant defender of treasure; valour and protection
Drops = (Guttees) One who has endured torrents of liquids, as in battle, depending upon the color of the liquid.
Yellow: gold
Blue: tears
Green: oil
White: water
Black: pitch or tar
Red: blood
Drum = Ready for war
Duck = (Also Teal) Person of many resources
Eagle = Person of noble nature, strength, bravery, and alertness; or one who is high-spirited, ingenious, quick-witted, and judicious; "True magnanimity and strength of mind" acc. to Guillim.
Eagle with wings "displayed," =  it signifies protection
Eagle with two heads = Conjoining of two forces
Elephant =  Great strength, wit, longevity, happiness, royalty, good luck, and ambition
Enfield  = Mythical beast said to have protected fallen chieftains' bodies for proper burial
Ermine = Spot Mark of dignity
Escallop = (scallop shell) Traveller to far places or victorious naval commander
Escarbuncle = Supremacy; brilliant gem
Escutcheon = or small shield, alone, with no charges Defense
Escutcheon = of Pretence (Small shield in center of primary shield.) Claim of a prince to sovereignty; or marriage to an heiress of the family 
Estoile = (star with six wavy points) Celestial goodness; noble person
Eye Providence =  in government
Falcon (Hawk)  = One who does not rest until objective achieved
Fasces =  A bundle or rods tied together around an axe, with the blade projecting out; Symbol of a magistrate's authority and the judiciary. (It appears on the reverse side of the U.S. Liberty-head dime.)
Feathers = (usually ostrich feathers) Sign of obedience and serenity
Fer de moline = (millrind) Center of the millstone, by which it is turned
Fess/Fesse = Military belt or girdle of honour; represents readiness to serve the public
Fetterlock =  Victory; one who has taken prisoners or rescued prisoners of war
Fife = Ready for war
Finger, pointing Direction;  = correct route
Fire = Zealousness
Fish = A true, generous mind; virtuous for himself, not because of his heritage; also unity with Christ, spiritual nourishment
Flag or Pennant = Refers to special action in which bearer was captured, or a reward for valiant service
Flanchi/flasque/flanches =  Given by a king for virtue and learning
Fleece =  (lamb's) Ancient honour from the knightly order of the Fleece of Gold
Fleur-de-lis = Purity; light; floral badge of France; represents sixth son as mark of difference
Flint stone = Readiness for zealous service
Flowers = Hope and joy
Fountain = Usually a roundle, crossed with wavy bars of blue and white; represents water, a spring
Fox  = One who will use all that he/she may possess of wisdom and wit in his/her own defense
Fraises = Strawberries; usually refers to the cinquefoil
Fret  = (saltire through  a mascle) (Also, fretty or latticework) Persuasion
Fruit  = Felicity and peace
Fusil  = (narrow lozenge) Travel and labour
Fusil of Yarn = (yarn with the spindle) Negotiation
Galley  = One who has to subsist by virtue and merit
Garb =  (wheatsheaf) The harvest of one's hopes has been secured
Gauntlet  = Armed for the performance of martial enterprise
Gavel = Justice; legal authority
Gem = or Jewel Supremacy
Gillyflower = (tawney quatrefoil) Hope and joy
Globe =  Worldliness; world travel
Goat = One who wins through politics rather than war
Gobony = or Gobbony Constancy
Goose = Resourcefulness
Gorged = (around neck) High dignity
Grapes =  Liberality, felicity, and peace; also, association with wine-making
Grasshopper=  Noble and home-bred
Grenade =  One who has dared the terror of such a weapon in battle
Greyhound = Courage, vigilance, and loyalty
Griffin =  (Head, wings, and talons of an eagle with the body of a lion); Valour and death-defying bravery; vigilance
Gyronny = Unity (six- or eight-part division of the shield)
Hammer =  Honour; emblem of the smith's trade
Hand = Pledge of faith, sincerity, and justice; two right hands conjoined represent union and alliance
Hand =  red Mark of a baronet
Hare = One who enjoys a peaceable and retired life
Harp  = Well composed person of tempered judgment; contemplation; mystical bridge between heaven and earth
Harpy  = (virgin's face, neck and breast with the body of a lion) Ferocity under provocation
Hart = (male deer) Peace and harmony
Hawk = (Falcon) One who does not rest until objective achieved
Hawks' =  lures: One who is fond of the highest pursuits, such as hunting and falconry
Hazel = branch or leaves Hope and joy
Head = (Human) Honour; if the head of a "blackamoor" or Moor, refers to deeds of prowess in the Crusades
Heart Flaming =  Intense, burning affection
Heart, Human  = Charity and sincerity
Hedgehog  = "Provident provider" acc. to Sloane Evans
Helmet = When depicted on the shield, denotes wisdom and security in defense; strength, protection, invulnerability
Hind = (female deer) Peace and harmony
Holly = Truth
Horns = Strength and fortitude
Horse = Readiness for all employments for king and country
Horseshoe = Good luck and safeguard against evil spirits
Hourglass = Flight of time; mortality
Housemark = Presumably adopted by the bearers as forms of unique identification of European homes
Huitfoil = (double quatrefoil) Mark of cadency for the ninth son
Human Head = Honour (if the head of a Blackamoor, it refers to deeds of prowess in the Crusades)
Humettee = Describes an element that does not touch the sides of the shield
Hunting Horn = One who is fond of the chase, of high pursuits
Hydra = (dragon with seven heads) Conquest of a very powerful enemy
Increscent/Increment = One who has been honored by the sovereign; hope of greater glory (crescent with horns to the dexter)
Inescutcheon  = "Escutcheon of Pretence"
Ivy Leaves = Strong and lasting friendship
Inkhorn or Inkwell =  Art of writing and educated employment
Jessamine = (white quatrefoil) Hope and joy
Jessant de lis = With a fleur-de-lis shooting out, i.e., from the mouth of a leopard or lion; Represents dominion over France.
Keys = Guardianship and dominion
Knight = (especially on horseback) The soul guiding the body; man's journey through life
Labarum =  (Constantine's Cross) Good omen; Christianity
Label  =  Indicates first-born.
Ladder =  (Scaling Ladder) One who was fearless in attacking; if against a tower, be on guard against spiritual and corporeal enemies
Lamb or Ewe  = Gentleness and patience under suffering
Lamb  = carrying staff or banner with a cross (paschal lamb) Faith; innocence, bravery, gentleness, purity, resolute spirit
Lamp/Lantern  = [also candle] Light, life, and spirituality
Lance or Javelin = The perfection of martial affairs; emblem of knightly service; devotion to honour
Laurel Leaves = Peace and/or triumph
Leg = Strength, stability, and expedition
Leopard  = or Ounce Valiant and hardy warrior who enterprises hazardous things by force and courage
Leopard's head swallowing a fleur-de-lis (jessant)  = Represents the lion of England swallowing the lily of France
Letter = (i.e., A, B, C) May represent great battles or tournaments beginning with that letter
Level =  Equity and upright action; virtuous person
Lightning Bolt = Swiftness and power
Lily = Purity "Fleur-de-lis"
Linden branch = or leaves Hope and joy
Lion  = Dauntless courage,  heraldic Bravery, strength, ferocity, and valour
Lozenge = or Lozengy Constancy
Lunel = (Four crescent moons facing each other) One who has been honored by the sovereign; hope of greater glory
Lure (hawk's)=  One who is fond of the highest pursuits, such as hunting and falconry
Lymphad = Ship
Lyre = Contemplation; tempered judgment
Man = Various meanings
Marigold = Devotion and piety
Martlet  = (footless swallow) Symbol of the fourth son (mark of difference); may signify one who has to subsist by virtue and merit, not inheritance
Mascle = (hollowed out lozenge) Persuasive
Mastiff = Courage, vigilance, and loyalty
Matches= (Usually in a roll and fired) Possible reference ot one who has dared the terror of such a weapon in battle
Maunch = (lady's sleeve) "For my lady's sake"
Mermaid = Eloquence
Millpick=  Miller's tool
Millrind = (or millstone) The mutual converse of human society; miller's tool
Mitre = (Bishop's) Authority
Mole = Unknown
Monkey = Unknown
Moon = Serene power over mundane actions
Moor/Saracen/Turk = Dates back to the Middle Ages when it was considered an honor to take a Moor's head
Moor fowl or Moor = cock Association with the law or the legal profession
Mortar Piece = One who has dared the terror of such a weapon in battle
Mount/Mound =  (Rounded terrace at base of the shield) Unknown; may be purely an artistic device
Mulberries = Liberality, felicity, and peace
Mule = Often borne by abbots and abbesses who have pastoral jurisdiction, but not real jurisdiction
Mullet =  (Star - see George Washington shield above) Divine quality from above; mark of third son
Musical Pipes [bagpipes] =  Festivity and rejoicing
Oak Garb or Sheaf  = The harvest of one's hopes has been secured
Oak Tree, Leaves, Bush = Great age and strength
Oak Tree/Bush with Acorns = Continuous growth and fertility
Olive Branch or Leaves = Peace and concordance
Orle Circle of something; = Preservation or protection
Ostrich/Ostrich plumes = Willing obedience and serenity
Otter = One who lives life to the fullest
Owl = One who is vigilant and of acute wit
Ox = Valour and generosity
Pale/Palet/Pallet/Paly = Military strength
Palm Branch =  Victory, justice, and royal honour
Palm Tree  = Righteousness and resurrection; victory
Panther  = Fierce, but tender and loving to children and will defend her children with her life
Parchment/Scroll/Diploma  = Possible reference to academic or scholarly achievement
Parrot  = Unknown
Paschal Lamb  = Faith, innocence, bravery, gentleness, purity, resolute spirit
Passion Nails = Token of poignant suffering undergone by the bearer
Pavilion = Readiness for battle
Peacock = Beauty, power, and knowledge
Peacock Feather =  Beauty, power, and knowledge
Pears = Felicity and peace
Pegasus Poetic = genius and inspiration; messenger of God
Pelican = Self-sacrifice and charitable nature; When feeding her young ("in her piety"), symbolizes the duties of a parent or parental love
Pen =  Art of writing and educated employment
Pennon or Flag = Refers to some special action in which it was captured or as a reward for gallant service
Periwinkle = (blue quatrefoil) Hope and joy
Pheasant = Person of many resources
Pheon  = (Spear-head) Dexterity and nimble wit; readiness for battle
Phoenix  = Symbol of resurrection
Pig  = Fertility
Pike  = (Fish) A true, generous mind; virtuous for himself, not because of his heritage; also unity with Christ, spiritual nourishment.
Pile = Represents large pieces of wood used in building bridges; engineering skills, builder; May represent a pennon or flag
Palmer's Stave = The shepherd's watchfulness; Christian faith; pastoral authority; also may refer to early pilgrimages to Jerusalem
Pillar = Fortitude and constancy; with serpent coiled around it, wisdom with fortitude
Pincers = Honour; emblem of the smith's trade
Pine = Death and eternal life thereafter
Pine Cone = Life
Pipes  = (bagpipes - music) Festivity and rejoicing
Pitcher = Office of service
Plant = Hope and joy
Plow or Ploughshare =  Labouring in the earth and depending upon providence
Plume of feathers = Sign of willing obedience and serenity of mind
Plummet = Equity and upright action; virtuous person
Pomegranate Fruit =  Fertility and abundance
Poplar leaves = Hope and joy
Poppy = (sanguine quatrefoil) Hope and joy
Portcullis =  (castle gate) Protection in an emergency
Proboscides  = Elephant trunks; usually represented in pairs; the elephant symbolizes longevity, strength, royalty, dignity, patience, wisdom, happiness, and good luck
Quatrefoil (Primrose) Brings good tidings
Rabbit = (Conie) One who enjoys a peaceable and retired life
Rainbow = Good times after bad
Ram =  Authority
Rat = Unknown
Ratch = hound (small hound) Loyalty, courage, and vigilance
Raven = Divine providence
Ray =  or Rayonnee Glory and spendour; fountain of life; intelligence and enlightenment
Rhinoceros = Ferocious when aroused
Rock =  Safety and protection; refuge
Rose = Mark of the seventh son; Hope and joy
Rose [Red]  = Grace and beauty
Rose [White] = Love and faith
Roundles Gold or yellow: =  bezants or byzantine coins (worthy of trust or treasure)
White: plate (generosity)
Green: pomme (apple)
Purple: golpe (wounded)
Blue: hurt or wortleberry
Black: pellet, ogress, or gunstone (cannon ball)
Red: torteau (communion wafer or manchet cake)
Tawney: orange (tennis ball)
Sabre (Sword) = Justice and/or military honour
Saddle = Preparedness for active service
Salamander = Protection
Salmon = ( Fish)  
Saltire = (St. Andrew's Cross) Resolution
Savage/Saracen=  Believed to be related to service in the Crusades
Scales = Justice
Scallop Shell =  "Escallop"
Sceptre = The emblem of justice
Scythe or Sickle = The hope of a fruitful harvest
Sea horse = Power of the water
Seal/Sea lion = Dauntless courage at sea
Seraphim = (angel with three pairs of wings) Dignity, glory, and honour; missionary; bearer of joyful news
Serpent/Snake/Lizard = Wisdom
Shacklebolt = Victory; one who has taken prisoners or rescued prisoners of war
Shamrock = Perpetuity; floral device of Ireland; also  Trefoil.
Shield=  When borne on the arms, represents the defender
Ship = Ancient sea voyages
Ship, Dismasted = Disaster at sea
Shutle (Weaver's Shuttle) = Reference to the bearer's profession; i.e., textiles
Skull=  Mortality
Snail = Deliberation and perseverance
Snake = Wisdom (also Serpent)
Spear/Pike = Honourable warrior; valiant knight
Spear-heads (Pheons) = Dexterity and nimble wit; readiness for battle
Sphere = Geographical or scientific reference
Sphinx = Omniscience and secrecy
Spider = Wisdom, labour, and prudence
Spur or Spur Rowel = Preparedness for active service; pressing onward
Square Symbols =  Constancy
Squirrel = Lover of the woods
Stag (Also Reindeer) = One who will not fight unless provoked; peace and harmony
Stag's Antlers = Strength and fortitude
Star = (estoile or mullet) Celestial goodness; noble person
Steel = Readiness for zealous service
Stirrup = Preparedness for active service
Stool = Hospitality
Stork=  Filial duty; close parental bond; If holding a rock, symbolizes vigilance
Sun = Glory and splendour; fountain of life
Swallow = One who is prompt and ready in doing business; also bringer of good news
Swan = Poetic harmony and learning, or lover thereof; light, love, grace, sincerity, perfection
Sword/Dagger/Dart
Sabre/Scimitar = Justice and military honour
Table = Hospitality
Tabor = Festivity and rejoicing; dangerous if aroused
Talbot = (hunting dog) Courage, vigilance, and loyalty
Tent = Readiness for battle
Terrace = Unknown; May be purely an artistic device
Tiger = Fierceness and valour; resentment; dangerous if aroused
Torch = Life; zealousness; engaging in signal service; truth and intelligence
Tortoise = Invulnerability to attack
Tower = Safety and grandeur
Tree Trunk/Stump/Branch = New life sprouting from the old
Tree = Life and the mystical connection of the earth with heaven and the underworld
Trefoil or Shamrock = (three-leaved grass) Perpetuity
Tressure = Preservation or protection (prominent in the arms of Scotland)
Tressure = Flory Counterflory Signifies the close and longterm alliance between France and Scotland
Trestle = Hospitality
Trident = Maritime dominion
Trumpet = Ready for war
Unicorn  = Extreme courage; virtue and strength
Vine = Strong and lasting friendship
Vol = (Set of Wings) Swiftness and protection
Vulture=  Purification and maternity; also, virginity (in Christianity)
Walnut Leaves = Hope and joy
Water Bouget = One who carried water to an army or a besieged place
Wheat-Ears = Faithful
Wheat Garb or Sheaf  = The harvest of one's hopes has been secured
Wheel Fortune;  = cycle of life
Wings = Swiftness and protection
Wolf = Reward from perseverance in long sieges and/or hard industry
Woodbine Leaves = Love that does not injure that which it clings to
Woman=  Various meanings
Wreath of laurel leaves =  and berries Triumph
Wren = Freedom
Wyvern = (Dragon with only two legs and armed tail) Valour and protection
Yew = Death and eternal life thereafter

Glossary of Heraldry terms - http://www.goedjn.com/wishford/burkes/h15-glss.htm

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