List of heraldic charges

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Main article: Charge (heraldry)

This list of heraldic charges takes up a representative collection of charges found in heraldry. It is in no way comprehensive.

This article does not cover those charges which are geometrical patterns and resemble partitions of the field; for these, see Ordinary (heraldry).

"Subordinary" charges[edit]

a shield with three lozenges.

A few simple charges are traditionally, and arbitrarily, classified among the subordinaries. (All other mobile charges are called common charges.)

Human figures[edit]

The Virgin, St. John the Apostle and St. Mary Magdalene lamenting the body of Christ taken down from the Cross": the arms of Pinggau, Steiermark, Austria
Coat of Arms of the municipality of Rosh Pinna, Israel

Parts of human bodies[edit]


Any animal can be a heraldic charge, although more traditional ones vary in the exactitude with which they resemble the creature as found in nature. Animals depicted naturally are either described as natural or using the scientific nomenclature. Also included in heraldry are Mythical creatures and chimeras.

Predatory beasts[edit]


Other mammals[edit]

Reptiles and amphibians[edit]


Insects include:

Combination animals[edit]


By far the most frequent heraldic bird is the eagle. A variant is the alerion, without beak or feet, seen in the arms of the duchy of Lorraine (for which it is an anagram).

Also very frequent is the martlet, a conventional swallow without feet or beak.

Fish and creatures of the sea[edit]

"Fish" are sometimes only described as "a fish", but the species is often named:

Parts of animals[edit]

Parts of creatures may also be used as charges.



Trees and their fruits[edit]

Trees appear as eradicated (showing the roots) or couped. Fruit can appear on a tree, or by itself. Also, leaves and branches appear.

Alder in the coat of arms of Grossarl, Austria.

Trees are sometimes merely blazoned as "a tree" but specific trees are mentioned in blazon.

A small group of trees is blazoned as a hurst, grove, wood or thicket.[2]

Grain crops and vegetables[edit]

Barley (French orge) in the arms of Orges, Switzerland

Inanimate charges[edit]

The arms of Bonsmoulins with a millwheel in the base

Ships and boats[edit]


Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Flag



Coat of arms of Albert, Prince Consort

Musical instruments include:


Arms of the united provinces.svg


Clothing and other personal items[edit]


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  15. ^ Gerard Michon (2004-06-19). "". Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  16. ^ Balfour Paul, James (1893). An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. William Green and Sons. pp. 108–109. 
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  19. ^ 2006-06-12. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
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  21. ^ A Complete Guide to Heraldry by A.C. Fox-Davies and J.P. Brook-Little (1969 edition), p. 212.
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  24. ^ a b c d e Jacqueline Fearn. Discovering Heraldry. Shire Publications. pp. 40–41. 
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  27. ^ Balfour Paul, p. 41
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External links[edit]