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NAILS (passion, spike): Borne in token of poignant suffering undergone by the first bearer. Nails are symbols of Christ's Passion and when displayed in threes, they represent The crucifixion.

NARCISSUS: Flower with six petals. Narcissus was the son of the Greek river god Kephissos; symbol of vanity, arrogance; also a symbol of confidence and self-reliance.

NESTS: A symbol of security and safety. The Pelican feeding her young in a nest is frequently found on European shields and crests.

NETS: It is said that the term fret, or rather fretty, should be used to represent the nets; an Honourable bearing, symbolizing persuasion, and often granted to commanders for valiant service to their sovereign in a Great War, or battle.

NIGHTINGALE: An emblem of love, righteousness, poetry and education. Throughout the ages, people have sought the meaning of the nightingale's song. In medieval times, it was thought that this bird sang all night long with its breast pressed against a thorn to keep itself awake because of its fear of snakes.

NIMBUS (aureole, circle of glory): A halo - a circle of radiant light around the heads of God, Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint. Type of aureole, gloriole, or glory. It indicates divinity or holiness, though originally it was placed around the heads of kings and gods as a mark of distinction characterizing authority and power.

NOAH'S ARK: In Christian ideology, this bearing was a way of saving believers from the "engulfing sea of godlessness" (Biederman, 17). In Heraldry, the Ark symbolizes hope and survival, prospects and aspirations.

NUT: See Hazel.

NUTCRACKER: Known as the Social bird, the Nutcracker is a planner and represents one who never goes without, thanks to that planning.

NUTHATCH: One who looks at the world from a different perspective, (it travels headfirst down the tree again, raising its head to look around); a good provider and an emblem of family values.

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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 Gold’s own sources. The Heraldry Symbolism Library is provided as a free resource tool for Heraldry enthusiasts. Reproduction in any form is prohibited.