It is the oldest mark of difference, but sometimes borne as a charge. As a difference (in English heraldry), it was used to mark the elder son, generally by the princes of the royal house. Differences, or marks of cadency, are the distinctions used to indicate the various branches (cadets) of a family. The eldest son, during the lifetime of his father, bears the family arms with the addition of a label; the second son a crescent, the third, a mullet, the fourth, a martlet, the fifth, an annulet; the sixth, a fleur-de-lis; the seventh, a rose; the eighth, a cross moline; the ninth, a double quatrefoil.
The label's number of points did not necessarily mean anything, although the label of three points was supposed to represent the heir during the lifetime of his father; five points, during the lifetime of his grandfather; seven points, while the great-grandfather still lived, etc. According to the modern system, the elder son of an elder son places a label upon a label.