coat of arms

or shield of arms

Heraldic device dating to the 12th century in Europe. It was originally a cloth tunic worn over or in place of armour to establish identity in battle. In the full armorial achievement the distinctively patterned shield is ornamented with a crest, helmet, mantling, motto, crown, wreath, and supporters and rests upon a compartment. Arms were later adopted as emblems for schools, churches, guilds, and corporations to reflect their origins or histories. Seealso heraldry.

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Coat can refer to any one of the following:

  • Coat (clothing), an article of clothing for humans.
  • Coat (animal), the fur coat of an animal.
  • Coat of arms, a heraldic design used to identify a nation, city, family, or individual.
  • Coat, a layer of a certain substance, usually paint.
  • Dogcoat, an article of clothing for dogs.

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