The term heraldry refers to the science and the art that deal with the use, display, and regulation of hereditary symbols employed to people (individuals and families), places, institutions, and corporations. Those symbols, which originated as identification devices on flags and shields, are called armorial bearings. In heraldry, an armiger is a person entitled to use a heraldic achievement, i.e. a coat of arms, which is a heraldic visual design on a shield. Coats of arms date back to the 12th Century, when they were worn over armour in battle and in tournaments so that opponents could identify each other.

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Regions of Europe


The Free State of Bavaria (in German: Freistaat Bayern) comprises the entire southeast portion of Germany. It is geographically the largest federal state in the country.

Bavaria is divided in 7 administrative regions: Oberfranken (Upper Franconia), Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia), Unterfranken (Lower Franconia), Bayerisch Schwaben with Allgäu (Bavarian Swabia), Oberpfalz, (Upper Palatinate), Oberbayern (Upper Bavaria), and Niederbayern (Lower Bavaria)

Coat of Arms: The coat of arms of Bavaria has greater and lesser versions. The modern coat of arms was designed by Eduard Ege, following heraldic traditions, in 1946.
First Quarter (The Golden Lion): At the dexter chief, sable, a lion rampant Or, armed and langued gules. This represents the administrative region of Upper Palatinate.
Second Quarter (The Franconian Rake): At the sinister chief, per fess dancetty, gules and argent. This represents the administrative regions of Upper, Middle and Lower Franconia.
Third Quarter (The Blue Panther): At the dexter base, argent, a panther rampant azure, armed Or. This represents the regions of Lower and Upper Bavaria.
Fourth Quarter (The Three Lions): At the sinister base, Or, three lions passant guardant sable, armed gules. This represents Swabia.
The White and Blue Inescutcheon (Herzschild = "Heart Shield"): The escutcheon of white and blue oblique fusils was originally the coat of arms of the counts of Bogen, adopted in 1242 by the House of Wittelsbach. The white and blue fusils are indisputably the emblem of Bavaria and the heart shield today symbolizes Bavaria as a whole.
The People's Crown: The four coat fields with the heart shield in the centre are crowned with a golden band with precious stones decorated with five ornamental leaves. This crown appeared in the coat of arms for the first time in 1923 to symbolize the sovereignty of the people.

Sources: Wikipedia | Nations Online

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Find out why heraldry was so important back in the medieval times, and what is it about symbols that fascinate people so much.

Did you know, for example, that the bat was an intimidating heraldic symbol used to inspire fear in enemies!

Do you want more? Check out the following eBooks:

The Manual of Heraldry International Heraldry The Handbook to English Heraldry
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