It is called heraldry to the art or science of blazon: the description of the coats of arms. A coat of arms, meanwhile, is a emblem through which a family or a State is represented.
It can be said that heraldry combines elements of the right, the art and the story. It arose in the Middle Ages and it managed to position itself as an identification mechanism in times of feudal societies. Its code, over the years, began to facilitate the recognition of territories and various groups (such as unions).
The origin of heraldry is linked to the armor that used the gentlemen in the 11th centuries Y XII. To protect themselves, these men appealed to helmets that covered his head and covered his face, making it impossible for them to be identified. Thus, with the aim of make yourself known in competitions and in battles, knights began to draw shapes on their shields.
The characteristics of each coat of arms depend on the one who decided to create it. In any case, there are guidelines that must be respected to guarantee proper identification, such as the ease of reading. Once the crest is established, it can be modified from inheritances, alliances and other reasons.
Heraldry, in short, consists of signs and it is constituted as a communication system. Everything in the coat of arms communicates, from the countryside until their partitions, going through their colors and its exterior ornamentation.
There are numerous entities dedicated to study and the spread of heraldry. Among them are the College of Arms on London and the Catalan Institution of Genealogy and Heraldry (ICGenHer) on Barcelona.