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Coat of arms

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In heraldry, the coat of arms is the design on the shield at the centre of the full armorial achievement.

It is a mean to uniquely identify a person, a family, a settlement (city, village...), a region, a state, a corporation... As such, it may be used on shields but also on garments, vehicles and objects of all kinds.

The design is essentially described with words. The description of the coat of arms is called a "blazon" (from the French word blason meaning "coat of arms"!). It uses a very specific language to characterise the essential features of the design in a standardised way. Graphical representations of the coat of arms may actually vary, as long as they implement the blazon.