We can add a bit more interest to our shield by splitting the field into
two parts and giving each part a different colour. There are quite a few
ways to split the field into two; they are known as divisions
and each of them has its own special name. Splitting the shield
vertically down the middle is known as per pale.
Divisions are always followed by the two colours, so we can already
create a second complete blazon-
Per pale gules and azure
Which side gets which colour? There is a general rule of blazonry
involved here - things are usually described left to right and top to
bottom. So our blazon above describes a shield that is red
(gules) on the left side and blue (azure) on the
Other common divisions of the field include per fess
(split horizontally across the middle), per bend (split
diagonally from top left to bottom right) and per
chevron (split in an upside down 'V' shape).
is a very helpful feature of blazonry - words are always used
consistenly. For example we have seen that per pale means
"split vertically". Wherever the word pale appears we can be
sure that it always has something to with "vertical". For example, if
some things are described as being in pale it means
that they are stacked vertically. Similarly, whenever you see the word
fess you will know that relates to something horizontal. Once
you learn a term in blazonry you will know what it means wherever it is
Time for your first practical - try out a few combinations of divisions
and colours in the box here. Remember the division comes first,
followed by two colours. We have some divisions given above but here
is a reminder of some of the colour names for you to experiment with:
sable (black), argent (silver, shown
as white), or (gold, shown as yellow), and
When you are ready, move on the next page, where we add some more shapes
to our shield.
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