ARMORIAL GOLD HERALDRY SYMBOLISM LIBRARY
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FALCON: Is derived from the Latin "falx", meaning sickle, a reference to the Falcon's wing shape in flight. Egyptians associated the Falcon with the 'Eye of Horus'. The god Horus was believed to appear in the form of Pharaoh's Falcon or as a Falcon-headed god. The mythology states he could see everything at once because one eye was the sun and the other was the moon. It is written that Falcons were permitted to ride on Pharaoh's nape as his protector and divine spirit. Falcons were used in a royal sport known as falconry. Is the art of training Falcons (or hawks) to pursue and attack wild fowl or game; falconry started in ancient China and Persia and soon became prevalent with the royals of ancient Egypt; the Falcon was associated with the Egyptian sun god 'RA' and later the Christians adopted it as an emblem of the saviour. A venerable symbol of majesty and power, heraldic writers add that the Falcon denotes someone eager, or hot in the pursuit of an object much desired; if seated on its 'rest' or perch it may signify a bearer who is ready and serviceable for high affairs.
FALCON'S (HAWK'S) LURE: Denotes one who was fond of the highest pursuits. Hunting and Falconry were such pursuits in the days of Heraldry. The bell signifies a signal to recall the absent from afar.
FASCES: The Roman fasces, consisting of a bundle of rods (elm or ash) bound round the helve of a hatchet. The bundle of rods bound together symbolizes strength that is lacking in the single rod. The axe symbolizes authority and leadership.
FEATHERS (Plume): Ostrich feathers. When three or more occur, they are termed a plume or in French, a panache. When more than three heights (rows) occur, the term pyramid of feathers is used. Denotes willing obedience and serenity.
FER DE MOLINE (Millrind, inkmoline, mill-ink, millrine): Represents the iron, which supports the upper millstone of a corn-mill, and carries the eye which rests upon the end of the mill spindle. Denotes divination, luck, and protection.
FETTERLOCK (shacklebolt, shackbolt, or manacle): A 'handcuff,' or prisoners' bolt. Signifies victory; one that has taken prisoners or rescued prisoners of war.
FIRE: Ancient symbol of a ruler; also symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit's actions; denotes zeal; was anciently connected with the universal worship of the sun. Many cultures saw fire as being a supernatural force; the ancient Greeks believed fire had divine origins, and maintained perpetual fires in front of their temples. Fire, especially in the form of a candle flame, represents both the Holy Spirit and light.
FISH: From the very earliest periods some gods and goddesses have been, from certain attributes and the peculiar powers attributed to them, represented in the form of fish, and the fish has also been used as a Christian emblem from the early days of Christianity. The fish is found in an allegoric or symbolic sense in the ancient remains of almost every nation. Among the Assyrian fragments , for instance, are frequent instances of monsters partly formed of fish Vishnu the Indian god, is said to have become incarnate in the form of a fish, so that he might recover the Sacred Books lost in the Deluge; aud the same legend— doubtless, it would seem, derived from this source—obtains in Ireland, where, in their primeval religion, Fin, or Finian (said to be identical with Bar-en-de, "The Son of the One God"), as recorded in the ancient annals of Ireland, was an antediluvian who escaped drowning in the Deluge by being transformed into a salmon, and afterwards lived, restored to his original human form, till the time of St. Patrick, who converted him to Christianity. A symbol of faith, abundance, hospitality, fruitfulness, and in Jewish lore a symbol of fertility. See Salmon, Dolphin, Haddock, etc.
FLAG (standard, banner): See Banner.
FLAMING HEART: The Heart is a symbol of charity, devotion and truth, and a flaming heart (heart flammant) denotes ardent affection. The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary are traditional Roman Catholic devotional images. In ancient Egypt the heart was weighed against the feather of truth by the goddess Ma'at (goddess of truth), in the presence of Thoth and Sebek to determine whether the deceassed would, by his life’s actions, be allowed to go on to the afterlife.
FLASQUES OR FLANCHES: A sub-ordinary given by a king for virtue and learning, and especially for service in embassage (the message or commission entrusted to an ambassador).
FLEAM: Representing an ancient lancet or bloodletting instrument; the fleam of St. Luke, denoting that the bearer may have been a physician. (A fleam is a sharp lancet, which was used to open veins).
FLEECE: Owes its celebrity to the classical fable of Jason's expedition to Colchis in the ship Argo to obtain it; ancient honour from the Knightly Order of the Golden Fleece.
FLEUR DE LIZ: Originally the white Lily and applied in early heraldic treatises to the white flowers attributed to the Virgin Mary. Later the term was used also for the flower of the French royal arms, and subsequently to any conventionalized flower of this form and of any tincture. Denotes purity; light; represents sixth son as mark of difference or distinction. French kings long used the fleur-de-lis as an emblem of their sovereignty. On his seal of AD 1060 , Philip I sits on his throne holding a short staff that terminates in a fleur-de-lis. The Roman Emperor Hadrian (AD 117-138) issued a coin which represented Gaul (France) with a woman holding a lily.
FLOWERS (lily, poppy, daisy, tulip, sunflower, lily-flower, etc): The flower and the blossom are both symbols of young life. Flowers are associated with the sun, because the arrangement of its petals is reminiscent of the shape of a star. The flower is generally representative of beauty, hope and joy.
FLY: Beelzebub, the God of Flies was considered the patron deity of medicine and was supposed to ward off flies from his votaries; he was one of the gods of the Philistines. The Greeks had a similar deity, Zeus Apomyios; symbol of adventurousness.
FORK (pitch, hay): Denotes laboriousness. Express image of a trade very vital to man, and their exquisite skill issued out of the plentiful fountain of God's abundant spirit; may denote an estate owner whose lands included agricultural farms; always willing and able to lend a helping hand.
FOUNTAIN: Represents a well or spring of water. Occasionally borne as an illusion to the first bearer's name, i.e.: Wells, Sykes, Weller etc. In Heraldry, you will find a natural fountain, as well as an heraldic fountain. The latter is a roundel barry wavy of six argent and azure. The heraldic fountain was often used as a mariner's symbol.
FOX: In pre-Christian times the Fox was seen as a symbol of the gods of the forests and mountains. This changed in Christian times, to where the Fox was seen as a demonic creature. The Fox appears extensively in myth and fable; it is one of the great tricksters. It was associated with Enki, the Sumerian god (lord of abundance), and Bacchus, god of wine as he considered the Fox the protector of the vines. In Japan, it is a "Spirit of Rain" and an attribute of the rice deity Indari. Synonymous with the terms: tod, reynard or a genet, the Fox is the most famous of tricksters and signifies one who will use all that he may possess of wisdom and wit in his own defence, and denotes one of strategic talents and fertility of resources.
FRAMED SAW (saw): The frame-saw was the instrument used by tree-cutters to fell trees in the days of heraldry. It may have special significance to the bearer as it relates to a great experience encountered; may also signify determination and the dependence on providence for the event.
FRASIER-FRAISES (strawberry): Usually represented by the cinquefoil (Scotch term for a Cinquefoil is a 'strawberry) but occasionally represented by strawberry leaves fructed (bearing fruit). An Anglo-Saxon symbol for a wanderer. The French word for strawberry is 'fraise' and growers are called fraisiers.
FRET: In heraldry a fret is a charge consisting of two narrow bendlets placed in saltire, and interlaced with a mascle. It was supposed to represent the meshes of a fishing-net. It is sometimes termed a true-lovers knot, and sometimes a Harrington Knot. It is said that the term fret, or rather fretty, should be used to represent fishing nets; an Honourable bearing, symbolizing persuasion, and often granted to commanders for valiant service to their sovereign in a Great War, or battle; also used by mariners and fisherman. SEE Nets
FROG (toads, tadpoles, and powets): In ancient Egypt, frogs were regarded as a symbol of fertility. The frog became the symbol of Hefnu. Soon Heket, the water goddess, had the head of a frog. The grateful Egyptians wore frogs as talismans to attract her favours of fruitfulness and fertility. A symbol of resurrection; one easily stirred up to anger whereunto he is naturally prone of himself.
FRUIT (apple, pear, pineapple, fig, pomegranate, hazel, walnuts etc.): Signifies liberality, felicity and peace. Refer to individual fruits.
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. Denotes laboriousness; always with work in hand.
FYLFOT (Gammadion): An ancient figure to which different mystic meanings have been applied; said to have been known in India and China long before the Christian era. Signifies power, energy, and migration.
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Heraldry Symbolism Library by Armorial Gold Heraldry Services is provided as a free resource tool for Heraldry enthusiasts. The Heraldry Symbolism Library and the information contained therein, has been researched through original manuscripts and Armorial Golds own sources. The Heraldry Symbolism Library is provided as a free resource tool for Heraldry enthusiasts. Reproduction in any form is prohibited.