Historically, knights relied on coats-of-arms for identification when they were clad in armor. With their colors and symbols, coats-of-arms became family symbols passed down through generations. A coat-of-arms usually consists of a shield, a mantling and a motto, with animals added for additional symbolism. The colors and animals you choose for a coat-of-arms can tell a story about your family history. Design a coat-of-arms for free online to give your family a present-day link to the past.
Visit a website (see Resources) to begin creating your coat of arms. Choose the shape of your shield first. Choose between a curved, pointed or square shape.
Select a color for the shield. "Gules" is a red color, "azure" is a light blue color, "vert" is green, "purpure is purple and "sable" is black. If the creating tool allows, you might choose more than one color in a vivid contrast for your shield colors.
Choose a charge for the top of the shield. The charge is an animal that sits atop the shield. Families often chose a charge with a symbolism that they thought fit the family. For example, bears, eagles, dragons and lions are common choices for charges.
Place a mantling above the shield as added decoration. A mantling might be ornate and intricate and others are simple.
Add the supporters on the left and right side of the shield to balance the sides of the shield. The supporters were usually majestic animals like unicorns or lions.
Choose a motto to describe your family. Keep the motto short and succinct, but make it fit your family. Examples include, "God is our Strength," "Steady and Faithful," or "Love Conquers."
Finish the coat-of-arms and view it on the website. Most website tools will have a "print" button to enable you to print your coat-of-arms.