Friday, July 2, 2010

Heraldry Extras: Eagles

My initial project was all about made up animals from heraldry, but it takes more than imagination to build a coat of arms! These are some newly-created images for future use in elaborate deigns, and of course, I had to start with eagles. Eagles are very common in heraldry, as well they should be--they represent bravery, strength, integrity, and so on. All sounds like good stuff, right? A lot of people wanted to tell the world via their shields and crests that they were like eagles.

Because the eagle is used so much, there are even special terms to describe its different poses. On the bottom right is the most common pose for any animal, and it's called "Rampant." A rampant animal has one foot on the ground, one up, and either its forelegs or its wings splayed out so you can see them all. On the bottom left is what's called "Displayed." A displayed bird has its chest forward, head in profile, and wings, legs, and tail spread out. In the displayed pose, you can see all of the bird's features clearly, though no animal would ever be seen that way in the wild. On top is a bird that's displayed, but shown with two heads. It's more commonly used than you might think! After all, a double-headed eagle has twice the bravery and brains of a regular one, and it can look both ways at once!

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