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YALE: A fabulous beast with a frightful appearance is a goat, with boar style tusks, and very large Ibex-type horns, that some say could rotate in any direction. The Yale was first written about by Pliny the Elder. It then passed into medieval heraldry, where it is said to represent pride, protection, and defense of one’s kin heedless from which direction enemies loomed. It was used by the British Royal Family as a supporter for the arms of John, Duke of Bedford, and others.

YEW: Known as the sacred yew, it can signify both death and longevity. Bulls sacrificed to Hecate in Rome were wreathed in yew. In Ireland, as wine barrels are made from yew staves, it is considered the coffin of the vine. Its prime use, however, was in bow making and dagger handles. Old British legends suggest that yew trees were planted in churchyard burial grounds to help resurrect the dead. It is known that the yew is the latest to reach full maturity, lives longer than the oak and has extended powers of endurance and resistance to decay and corruption. As a symbolic tree of faith and resurrection, it is said that Old England referred to it as the witches' tree.

YOKE: A symbol of agriculture, servitude and obedience. Throughout the Old Testament, the yoke is a symbol of oppression. We find it as early as the story of Jacob and Esau, with a prophecy that at some time in the future Esau will gain the dominion and "break the yoke" from off his neck. (Genesis 2740).

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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.