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The Subordinates or Ordinaries

The Pile
This is formed by two straight lines drawn from the upper centre part of the shield, in width about 1/3rd, and gradually closing near the middle base in shape resembling a wedge or pile from which fact it undoubtedly derives its name. Unless otherwise specified, it occupies the centre portion of the shield and issues from the middle chief. It may, however, issue from any other extremity of the shield and there may be more than one. Piles may be charged. The length of the Pile depends on the other figures occupying the shield. If no other charges intervene, the Pile may extend to the nombril point or even lower.

The Canton
The Canton generally occupies 1/3rd of the Chief and can be charged. It is placed in the Dexter Chief unless otherwise blazoned. The Canton is thought to have been more of an augmentation to the arms, or a mark of difference.

The Quarter
The Quarter, also referred to as the franc-quartier, generally occupies 1/4 of the shield and is formed by two straight lines drawn in the direction of the Fesse, and the Pale meeting at the Fesse point. It is placed in the Dexter Chief unless otherwise blazoned. When a shield has for example three lions heads erased (2 and 1), only the sinister lion and the one in base is shown, as it is assumed the third is under the quarter.

The Gyron
The Gyron is a triangular figure formed by two lines, one drawn diagonally from one of the four angles to the centre of the Shield, and the other drawn either horizontal or perpendicular from one of the sides of the Shield next to that angle, and meeting the other line at the centre of the Shield. It may be borne singly or in couples to the number of 4,6,8,10,12,14 and 16. When there is one Gyron only in a Shield it is blazoned thus: gules, a Gyron or, without mentioning the point from whence it issues, the dexter chief point being the usual point.




Gyronny of 14

or and azure


From the Spanish 'Gyron', a triangular piece of cloth sewed into a garment; more of a design element than a symbolic one.

The Inescutcheon
The Inescutcheon or Shield of Pretence is a small shield borne in the centre of the Field of which it occupies 1/5th. The Shield of Pretence is basically the paternal arms of an heiress brought into a family by marriage. Important Note: when borne on any part of the Shield other than the Fesse point, or when more than one occurs, it is called an Escutcheon

The fusil In its natural form and sense, is a spindle belonging to a distaff (the staff from which the flax was drawn in spinning) but in its conventional form it is an elongated lozenge. It was formerly represented of an oval shape pointed at the top and bottom like a spindle covered with thread. If Fusils are borne in Pale, they must be fesseways, i.e., their acute angles must be Dexter and Sinister, but if borne in Fesse the acute angles must be in chief and base.


  In Pale

In Fesse


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