Throughout the 16th century, people would wear emblems and badges to show their allegiance to a family and associate themselves with the strength, cunning or beauty of certain animals, plants and objects. These badges were different from a coat of arms because they were chosen specifically by the ruler while a coat of arms was passed down through generations. They carried these badges with them into battle and knights would wear them during jousting matches in much the same way that sports teams wear different colored uniforms today. The art form of royal symbols was called heraldry. Learn more about heraldry>>
Can you find Richard's badge on page 10? Richard adopted the symbol of the white boar with gold tusks. In his famous play, Richard III, Shakespeare poetically insults Richard's emblem when he refers to Richard as a 'rooting hog.'
What does Richard have in his right hand on page 14?
A coat of arms was passed down from father to son and sometimes to daughters. Coat of arms were strictly regulated by the government where each symbol represented a deeper meaning. For example, if your coat of arms had the color blue in it then that signified loyalty. A bull signified strength. A dolphin represented charity and love.
The playwright, William Shakespeare had much to say about Richard. In his play Richard III, he has Richard proclaim, "dogs bark at me as I halt by them;" You have to be pretty ugly to make dogs howl. And if that was not damaging enough, Shakespeare also portrayed Richard as a lame hunch back. But there isn't any evidence Richard was a hunchback nor that he sent the dogs running. Read more about Richard III>>
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