The custom of the invention, for itself or a kind of distinctive sign, has very long roots.
Let’s start with the primitive system.
Generic signs and symbols were called totems; they are the closest relatives of emblems.
The term “totem” in the language of the Ajibwe Indians, the word “totem” meant the concept of “his kind. The Indians chose any animal or plant as a patron or progenitor from which all members of the tribe had their origin.
The ancient Slavs also had totemism – sacred animals, trees, plants from the names of which some Russian surnames are supposed to come from.
Among the Asian peoples of Turkic and Mongolian origin, totems also existed. “Togma” is a sign of family origin, an image of an animal, bird or weapon.
Various systems of insignia and emblems have always and everywhere existed, but heraldry itself, as a special form of symbolism, arose in the process of developing the feudal system in Western Europe.
Heraldry and its development
The development of heraldry occurred during the decline of culture and economy in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire and the establishment of the Christian religion, when feudalism arose and a system of hereditary aristocracy developed.
Evidence of the existence of heraldry appears only after the Crusades and during the time of knightly tournaments, where symbolism played one of the most important roles.
The heralds systematized all the meanings about the arms, worked out universal principles and rules for their compilation and recognition, and ultimately created the science of heraldry.
Meaning of words
The French name for heraldry – “blason” – comes from the German – “blasen” – to blow the horn.
From the word “blasen” comes the French “blasonner”, German “blasoniren”, English “blazon”, Spanish “blasonar”, and Russian “blazon” – that is, to describe the coat of arms. The heralds created a special jargon (and today used by heraldry specialists) to describe the emblems.
It is assumed that the Russian word “gerb” is borrowed from the Polish “herb” and is found in many Slavic and Germanic dialects (herb, erb, irb), which means heir or inheritance. The Slavic name directly indicates its hereditary character.
The English term “coat of arms”, which means the coat of arms, comes from the name of the special garment “surcoat” – linen or silk capes that protect the armor of the knight from the sun and rain (the word “knight” comes from the German “retter” – the horseman).
Heraldry in the world
In addition to Western Europe, only Japan in the XII century developed a similar heraldic system called “mon”. In some European languages this is mistakenly translated as “coat of arms”, although it is not a coat of arms in the European sense of the word. As an example, we can consider the emblem of the imperial family sixteen-petal chrysanthemum.
Just as in Europe, in Japan it was required to legally issue a “mon”. Like European Japanese heraldry survived the era of chivalry and is widely used in our time.
Today you can create your own heraldry for the family. Coat of arms, motto, symbols that will distinguish your family from others. Create your logo and slogan, be unique.
Good luck in finding.