Ordinaries

Ordinaries are simple geometric figures on the shield. The lines are straight and run from edge to edge and/or top to bottom. They are wider than a line or division of the field.

These designs were painted on the field as a means of identification.


Image courtesy Wikipedia


Bar [narrow horizontal division] ~ one who sets the bar of conscience, religion, and honor against angry passions and evil temptations. The quote, ‘raise the bar’, takes on a new meaning.

Barry [horizontally divided into a certain even number of equal parts] ~ one who sets the bar of conscience, religion, and honor against angry passions and evil temptations

Barry Wavy [a barry with wavy edges] ~ troubles keep us in continuous exercise and reminders of providence, as saves in a storm at sea

Barrulet [horizontally divided into ten or any higher even number of equal parts] ~ one who sets the bar of conscience, religion, and honor against angry passions and evil temptations

Bend [slanting bar running from the top left hand corner of the shield to the bottom right edge] ~ defense or protection, a knight’s scarf

Bend Sinister [Battune Sinister] ~ marks a royal descent that is barred by illegitimacy from succession to the throne

Sinister means from the viewers right to left, while dexter means from the viewer’s left to right.

Bendlet [half the width of a bend]

Chevron [French for rafter, a upside down ‘V’] ~ protection, faithful service

Chief [horizontal band across the top of the shield] ~ dominion, authority, wisdom, achievement in battle

Cross [vertical and horizontal lines cross, one of the earliest and noblest of the honorable ordinaries] ~ protection, Christian or Crusader

Fess, Fesse [horizontal band across the middle of the shield, like a military belt or girdle] ~ honor

Pale [a vertical band down the middle] ~ military strength or fortitude

Pall [Y-shape]

Pallet [a thinner pale]

Pile [downward pointing triangle, with its top edge at the top of the shield] ~ construction, building

Pile Quarter ~ a bearing of honor

Saltire [diagonal ‘X’ cross] ~ St. Andrew’s Cross, resolution

Those used less frequently are call sub-ordinaries.


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