Reblogged from Nicholas C. Rossis :
Any of you writing fantasy will appreciate Toni Šušnjar’s post on heraldry, shared on Mythic Scribes.
The History of Heraldry
As Toni explains, distinctive personal insignia on shields had been used to identify warriors in battle since 9th-century BC Phrygia. But this insignia was not heraldry as it was not hereditary (familial).
Heraldry appeared in the mid-12th century and flourished during the 13th and 14th centuries. Formal heraldry in England first appeared in 1127 when Henry I gave a shield to his son-in-law, Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, as a wedding present. However, early shields were simple devices with one or two colors and had no principles of heraldry or any semblance of standardization.
Continue reading at Nicholas C. Rossis