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======Middle-earth heraldry======
//Partly adapted from Forodrim article by [[http://www.forodrim.org/gobennas/heraldry/heraldry.htm Måns Björkman]].//

The Elves had formulated rules or principles for the shaping of heraldic devices, which can be summarized in the following way:

~- Devices for males were placed within a lozenge.
~- Devices for females were placed within a circle.
~- Devices for families, houses or countries were placed within a square.
~- The rank of the owner was shown by the number of "points" reaching the outer rim of the device (see below). Four points signified a prince, six to eight signified a king. The oldest of the Elven kings, like Finwe, could sometimes have as many as 16 points.

===Origins and History===

Heraldry of Middle-earth has nothing in common with the later medieval [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heraldry system of coat of arms]]. In medieval Europe, heraldry was connected with warfare: the knights needed a way to be easily recognizable on the battle-field, even in full armour. The heraldic devices thus had to be recognizable from a fair distance, invoking the necessity of stylized symbols and strict use of colours. Elvish heraldry, on the other hand, was not originally intended for warfare. Also, because the Elves had extremely good eyesight, there was no need to simplify or stylize their devices.

The Elvish rules of heraldry were followed by both the Noldor and the Sindar, and were adopted by the three houses of Men that became people of Númenor. The rules themselves were likely invented by the Noldor and perfected during the Wars of Beleriand. Many of the devices were possibly constructed posthumously. An exception was the hidden realm of Gondolin, where Turgon's followers developed unique heraldic customs of their own: Their emblazonry consisted of symbols set against a single-coloured background, and the shields they were applied to were "long and tapering". In Gondolin this heraldry was not used for personal devices, but applied to the devices of the "Twelve Houses".

A large number of Elvish heraldic devices are known from the preserved and published illustrations from //Pictures By J.R.R. Tolkien// (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1979).

====Samples of Eldarin heraldry====

""<table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="3">
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Finwe.jpg" width="150" height="153"></td>
<td><b>Finwë.</b> Finwe's heraldic device shows a "winged sun",
opposing Elwë's device of a winged moon. Though Finwë actually
died before the first rising of the sun, he was the king of the Noldor that
reached the light of Aman and saw the Two Trees. Sixteen "points"
reach the edges of the sign, signifying Finwe's position as one of the oldest
of the <i>Quendi</i> and the High King of the Noldor. His bright yellow
and red colours seem to be echoed in the devices of his heirs Fëanor,
Fingolfin, and Finarfin.
<p>There was also a similar device for Finwë's house, identical except
for being tipped forty-five degrees to form a square. This was the device
of the High Kings of the Noldor and descended from Finwë to his son
Fingolfin and then on to Fingon and Turgon.</p>
<p><b>Elwë</b> (Elu Thingol) had a similar decive, a "winged moon"
on sable surrounded by stars. But Elwë got only eight "points"
signifying kingship, instead of Finwë's sixteen.</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Melian.jpg" width="150" height="149"></td>
<td><b>Melian.</b> The Queen of Doriath is given a complex device, very unlike
any other male or female device. Within it both stars and flower-like shapes
are found, reflecting both the devices of <b>Elwë</b> (her husband)
and <b>Lúthien</b> (her daughter). It might also recall her seal,
which was <i>"a single flower of Telpërion"</i>. Within the
circle that marks her as female is seen a lozenge, which is usually the
escutcheon of male devices.</td>
</tr>
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Feanor.jpg" width="150" height="151"></td>
<td>
<p><b>Fëanor.</b> Fëanor's device shares the fiery colours of
his father's device, and carries the connotation of fire further by having
wavy flames that go from the centre outwards. These may be associated
with Fëanor's name, but these flames are also found in Fingolfin's
device. In the centre is the heraldic image of <i>Silmaril</i>, the greatest
of Fëanor's creations. It is surrounded by a number of coloured fields,
possibly representing the art of creating crystals, which he invented.</p>
<p><i><img src="images/flags/feanorst.gif" width="49" height="49" align="left">The
Star of Fëanor</i>. As seen on the west gate of Moria, the Star of
Fëanor was apparently an emblem for all the followers of Fëanor.
It was properly silver-coloured, and had eight rays and eight "spikes"
which were arranged much in the same way as in Fëanor's heraldic
device. </p>
<p><b>Fingolfin </b>had a device distinctly related with his brothers, with
the natural exception of the <i>Silmaril</i>. It had orange flames on
yellow disc, with silver stars on dark blue background. Silver stars on
blue were also used in Fingolfin's banners, as mentioned in the <i>Silmarillion</i>.
Eight "points" reached the edges, as is the case with all the
devices for the sons of Finwë.</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Finarfin.jpg" width="150" height="153"></td>
<td>
<p> <b>Finarfin.</b> Though sharing the "fiery" appearance of
the devices of his father and brothers, the fire-rays in Finarfin's device
are calmer, giving the device a more balanced appearance. Being distinctly
set apart from the devices of his brothers, an inclination is perhaps
made to the fact that he, at the rebellion of the Noldor, stayed in Aman,
while his brothers proceeded to Middle-earth. This device was also used
by Finarfin's heirs, and apparently especially <b>Finrod Felagund</b>.
</p>
<p>Finrod Felagund was also given another device, drawn by the Men of the
people of Bëor. It is distinctively nonsymmetrical like mannish devices
tend to be: A silver harp and a torch on green background. Finrod also
used a badge that depicted a crown of golden flowers. The motive of the
badge was probably related to the device of Finarfin. </p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Luthien1.jpg" width="150" height="147"></td>
<td> <b>Lúthien.</b> Lúthien Tinúviel is the only person
known to have had two distinct heraldic devices; both are based on patterns
with flowers. The first one, shows the white <i>niphredil</i> that grew
at her birth (it has been described as similar to a delicate snowdrop).
The second device of Lúthien, depicted on the left, probably holds
an <i>elanor</i> in the centre. The stars in this device echo those found
in her father device. At a first glance it is hard to tell if there are
any "points" that reach the rim, but it seems like they would
be no more than four in both devices. In the first device they point in
the compass directions northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest. In
the second, the only thing similar to "points" are the white flowers
that each symbolizes one point. This would give her the correct status as
a princess of Doriath.</td>
</tr>
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Idril.jpg" width="150" height="151"></td>
<td> <b>Idril.</b> The device of Idril Celebrindal reveals a cornflower-like
pattern. Apparently Idril was especially associated with this flower, possibly
through the golden corn that echoed her golden hair. An inscription found
together with the device reads <i>Menelluin Írildeo Ondolindello</i>
("Cornflower of Idril from Gondolin"; <i>Írilde</i> is
a Quenyaization of Idril's name). It is possible <i>Menelluin</i> was the
name, or designation, of the device. In it, twelve points reach the edge
of the circle, suggesting the status fitting for the daughter of a High
King.
<p>The device of Idril was preserved and brought from Gondolin to Númenor,
where it became the inspiration of many similar Númenorean designs.
It was then brought to Gondor by Elendil.</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Gil-galad.jpg" width="150" height="144"></td>
<td> <b>Gil-galad.</b> His name means "Radiant star", and remembering
also the words from <i>The Fall of Gil-galad:</i> "The countless stars
of heaven's field / were mirrored in his silver shield", it is only
natural that Gil-galad's device shows a star-covered sky. It is hard to
tell how many "points" meet the edge, but his status should allow
at least four.</td>
</tr>
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Silmarilli.jpg" width="150" height="143"></td>
<td> <i><b>The Silmarils.</b></i> There is only one known device that is designated
for objects instead of a person. Why the Silmarilli should have their own
heraldic device is unclear. Perhaps the device was used as a banner by the
Noldor in the wars with Morgoth, to mark their intentions. The tree in the
background is probably <i>Laurelin</i>, the Golden Tree, from which the
Silmarils got part of their light. The Silmarils are also used as emblems
in the devices of Fëanor, Eärendil, and Beren.</td>
</tr>
</table>""

====Heraldry of Edain====

When the //Edain// entered Beleriand, they seem to have adopted the Noldorin rules and concept of heraldry almost immediately. A forerunner of this was doubtless Bëor, whose close friendship with Finrod gave him the oldest of the known Human devices. The first of these tended to use more warm and earth-like colours than their Elvish counterparts, and the designs were usually only symmetrical around the vertical axis, distinguishing them from the entirely symmetrical devices of the Elves. Because men were not immortal as Elves, they adopted the male lozenge as the symbol of their houses, not just for individual beings.

""<table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="3">
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Beor.jpg" width="150" height="150"></td>
<td>
<p><b>The House of Bëor.</b> Bëor, founder of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Beor"><b>House</b></a>
that ruled over the eldest of the Three Houses of Men, had his device
created according to the Elvish rules of heraldry. It is in many ways
the most elf-like of the Human devices, being entirely symmetrical. Still
it lacks the splendour of the Elvish devices, and seems more earth-bound
with its warm and natural colours. It was used by the descendants of Bëor
the Old, until the War of Wrath. Those Bëorians who followed Bereg
and returned southway to Eriador ceased to use Elvish heraldic devices,
but simplified versions of this device were used by the men who were buried
in the barrows of Tyrn Gorthad.</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Hador.jpg" width="150" height="146"></td>
<td> <b>The House of Hador.</b> The reason for the design of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Hador"><b>Hador</b></a>'s
device is not clear. Hador was a great friend of <b>Fingolfin</b>, and one
might perhaps discern the "fiery" colours of Finwë and his
heirs in this device. The symmetry is vertical, even in the "spearhead"
designs, the one at the bottom being more pointed than the one at the top.
The device was carried to Westernesse and inherited by Elros Tar-Minyatur,
the first king of Númenor.</td>
</tr>
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Haleth.jpg" width="150" height="146"></td>
<td> <b>The House of Haleth.</b> The device of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_haleth"><b>Haladin</b></a>
shows a tree of an unspecified order, a pair of white flowers, and a number
of orange dots that might be stylized nuts or leafs. The tree seems to be
entwined with a trailer. The Haladin in general were fond of solitude and
forests, which might be indicated in this device.</td>
</tr>
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Beren.jpg" width="150" height="146"></td>
<td> <b>Beren.</b> In the centre of Beren Erchamion's device is the <i>Silmaril</i>
that Beren and Lúthien took from Morgoth. Above it looms the <i>Thangorodrim</i>,
the three peaks of Angband. Below the Silmaril is a bloody hand, seemingly
stretched out to grab the stone, symbolizing the hand that Beren lost to
Carcharoth. The device shows the vertical symmetry common for Men, broken
only by the naturally assymetric hand.</td>
</tr>
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Earendil.jpg" width="150" height="146"></td>
<td> <b>Eärendil.</b> The focus in Eärendil's device lies in the
<i>Silmaril </i>depicted in the centre, radiating six light beams towards
the edges. In the dark corners the moon in its phases is shown. The presence
of the moon might reflect Eärendil's destiny to become a star, but
it is also the only thing that prevents this device from being entirely
symmetrical. This perhaps distinguishes him as being Half-elven. The six
light rays are accompanied by six others, that seem to go in the opposite
direction. Thus forming twelve "points", a clear relatedness with
Idril's device is seen (Idril being Earendil's mother), which is reinforced
by the shared blue background of the two devices.</td>
</tr>
</table>""

====Heraldry of Númenor====

Eldarin heraldry was further developed in Númenor. The custom of placing devices for families and houses within a male lozenge was formalized. Númenorean heraldry became increasingly elaborate and complex. The party of King's Men (//Ârûwanâi//) invented the tradition of including armorial mottoes in //tengwarin// (later //atanwarin//) script in their devices. Eldarin symbols and devices were plagiarized by the Faithful (//Nimruzîri//) to assert their allegiance to the legacy of Eärendil. The third party, plutocratic //Dâiruzîri// stuck in floral symbolism already prevalent in Númenorean society.

""<table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="3">
<tr valign="top">
<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><img src="images/flags/Numenor.jpg" width="150" height="150"></td>
<td><b>Númenor.</b> The Great Seal and Device of
Númenor bears resemblance to the device of Idril Celebrindal. In
the center of the device is a cross and twelve-pointed floral motif signifying
high kingship. The ubiquitous floral pattern was used everywhere in Númenorean
tapestry, heraldry and ornaments, including column capitals.</td>
</tr>
</table>""

====Heraldry in the Third Age====
//See also [[GondorFlags Flags of Gondor]], [[UmbarFlags Flags of Umbar]], [[http://lindefirion.net/flags.html All flags]]//

In the Third Age, when the civilization of the //Dúnedain// had advanced in technology as well as in level of sophistication, their heraldry had diverged from the Eldarin customs, maturing into a more stylized tradition. They often applied a single charge to a coloured background, approaching the heraldic customs of the medieval age. The established forms of Eldarin devices, a circle, a lozenge, and a square, could all be combined into one device: Lozenge on square would form eight "points", signifying a kingdom (in Eldarin sense of the word). Eldarin hierarchy of ranks in shape of points was retained Dúnadan heraldry in highly stylized way, often applied in form of many-pointed stars.

Númenorean successor states often went their own way, developing the concept of heraldry even further. Umbar and especially Bellakar was influenced by Haradan culture and calligraphy. Former Númenorean colony of Ciryatandor (//Anbalukkhôr//) refined the artistic values of the //Ârûwanâi// until all Eldarin traditions were discarded and devices were formed entirely by applying the inceasingly ceremonial and unintelligible //Atanwar// script on coloured (often black or red) square or tailed background.

""<table bgcolor="white" width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="10">
<tr align="left" valign="top">
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/gondor1.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Gondor.</b> Device of Gondor. The White Tree represents any of the descendants
of <i>Nimloth</i> that grew in Minas Ithil and, later, Minas Anor. To this
device the Kings of the line of Elendil added the Seven Stars and Silver
Crown, which was the chief mark of royalty.</td>
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/steward.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Gondor (alternate).</b> Stewardial, silver-faced version. The emblem
of Elendil and his heirs was seven five-pointed stars, each representing
one of the <i>palantíri</i> that Elendil brought from Númenor.
They were applied on top of the White Tree.</td>
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/dolamroth.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Dor-en-Ernil</b> (later Dol Amroth). Silver swanship on azure background.
Eight points pretend on par status with the heirs of Elendil.</td>
</tr>
<tr align="left" valign="top">
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/arnor.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Arthedain.</b> The device of Arnor was simple five-pointed star on sable
square. In the successor kingdom of Arthedain a more stylized version of
Gil-galad's personal device was adopted: Twelve eight-pointed stars on blue
background, claiming High Kingship of the <i>Dúnedain</i>.</td>
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/cardolan.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Cardolan. </b>Ram's head on green background. One eight-pointed star
(the Star of Elendil) was applied by rulers that were of line of Elendil.
It was omitted during the Regency.</td>
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/rhudaur.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Rhudaur.</b> Kingdom of Rhudaur discarded Eldarin symmetry altogether
and favoured native ornaments.</td>
</tr>
<tr align="left" valign="top">
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/umbar2.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>State of Umbar.</b> <i>Asapthubêths </i>of Old Umbar retained the
traditional symbol of the haven: gold tengwarin U-<i>tehta </i>on sable
background.</td>
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/umbar3.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Principality of Umbar.</b> After Umbar was incorporated into kingdom
of Gondor, it gained the eight points of kingship in its device. After the
Kin-strife, retreating traditionalist confederacy continued using this device
until 1810 T.A.</td>
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/angamaite.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Angamaitë.</b> The last and greatest of the corsair lords adopted
this device during his rule: Black eagle on red background. Eight points
signify his descent from Castamir the Usurper, king of Gondor.</td>
</tr>
<tr align="left" valign="top">
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/enedwaith.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Enedwaith.</b> The device of lords of Lond Angren is entirely non-Dúnadan
in its appearance, portraying local traditions on a round shield.</td>
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/eothraim.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Eothraim.</b> Galloping white horse on black and green was adopted as
the official symbol of the client kingdom of Rhovanion. Four corners or
"points" of the square are evocative of princely status in Eldarin
system of heraldry.</td>
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/saralainn.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Saralainn.</b> Rulers of the dunlending realm of Saralainn never became
accustomed to Dúnadan culture, keeping instead into their elaborate
"knotted" patterns.</td>
</tr>
<tr align="left" valign="top">
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/harad2.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Pezarsan.</b> Most haradrim devices are tribal charges on simple coloured
background. </td>
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/harad1.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Korb Taskral.</b> Black serpent on red field has been traditional symbol
of authority in Near Harad.</td>
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/khand.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Khand. </b>Khaganate of Khand has a heraldic system of its own, greatly
influenced by Sauron.</td>
</tr>
<tr align="left" valign="top">
<td width="33%">
<img src="images/flags/Anbalukkhor.png" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Anbalukkhôr.</b> Flag of the principal Black Númenorean realm is edged with elaborate golden thread calligraphy in the script of Annatar. Motto of the realm in placed In center: <i>Aglar Yôzâyan, Aglar Anbalukkhôr</i>.</p>
</td>
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/tumakveh.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Tumakveh Bellakar.</b> Device of the half-Adûnai, half-Haradan
Tumakveh dynasty is a distinct blend of Haruze and Ârûwânai
influences. Symbols of Númenorean authority were replaced with double
crescent moons, symbolizing the Haradan goddesses Ladnoca and Ishtra.</td>
<td width="33%"><img src="images/flags/sauron1.jpg" width="150" height="150"><br>
<b>Mordor.</b> Although Sauron is believed to have fallen, his legacy lives
on in the devices and woven tapestries of the central Middle-earth. Ornamental
versions of the Lidless Eye are especially popular among the Wainriders
and the inhabitants of the barren deserts of Mordor.</td>
</tr>
</table>""




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