Welcome to the Heraldry and Vexillology Portal!
Vexillology (from the Latin vexillum, a flag or banner) is the scholarly study of flags, including the creation and development of a body of knowledge about flags of all types, their forms and functions, and of scientific theories and principles based on that knowledge. Flags were originally used to assist military coordination on the battlefield, and have evolved into a general tool for signalling and identification, particularly identification of countries.
Heraldry encompasses all of the duties of a herald, including the science and art of designing, displaying, describing and recording coats of arms and badges, as well as the formal ceremonies and laws that regulate the use and inheritance of arms. The origins of heraldry lie in the medieval need to distinguish participants in battles or jousts, whose faces were hidden by steel helmets.
Mary Pickersgill (born Mary Young; February 12, 1776 - October 4, 1857), was the maker of the Star Spangled Banner Flag hoisted over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Pickersgill learned her craft from her mother, Rebecca Young, also a noted flag maker. In 1813, Pickersgill was commissioned by Major George Armistead to make a flag for Baltimore's Fort McHenry that was so large that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a great distance. The flag was installed in August 1813, and, a year later, during the Battle of Baltimore, Francis Scott Key could see the flag while negotiating a prisoner exchange aboard a British vessel, and was inspired to pen the words that became the United States National Anthem. (more...)
The flag of the Republic of Kosovo was adopted by the Assembly of Kosovo immediately following the declaration of independence of the Republic of Kosovo from Serbia on 17 February 2008. The flag is the result of an international design competition, organized by the United Nations-backed Kosovo Unity Team, which attracted 993 entries. Under the terms of the contest, all entries had to reflect the multi-ethnic nature of Kosovo, avoiding the use of the double-headed eagle or the use of solely red and black or red, blue and white color schemes. The now-used design is a variant of one proposal designed by Muhamer Ibrahimi. It shows six white stars in an arc above a golden map of Kosovo on a blue field. The stars symbolize Kosovo's six major ethnic groups. (more...)
Selected coat of arms