Heraldry, the design of symbols to represent people or institutions is one of the oldest forms of art and design. Coats of arms and badges usually combine symbols for families and places.
Balance and symmetry have always been important in heraldry. Most examples have a line of symmetry from top to bottom. They usually have a shield in the centre and a crest in the middle above it. Most have objects on either side and a motto.
The Royal Badge of Wales is a modern example of heraldry. It was designed in 2008 by Sir Peter Gwynne-Jones. It is the official badge of the National Assembly for Wales. It looks balanced because it is nearly symmetrical from side to side. Look for these examples:
- The Royal crown at the top is symmetrical.
- The circular wreath of plants is symmetrical. This represents the four countries of the United Kingdom: the leek for Wales (twice each side), the thistle for Scotland, the clover for Ireland and the Rose for England.
- The green ribbon is nearly symmetrical apart from the motto, ‘Pleidiol Wyf I’m Gwlad’.
- The shield is a symmetrical shape.
- The images on the shield are not quite a mirror image because the lions all point the same way and the colours go from red on yellow to yellow on red. This shield was used 800 years ago by the princes of Gwynedd who were the first rulers of the whole of Wales.
You will need: paper and drawing materials.
Work individually to design your own badge. You should include a shield and a crest to do with your family, a wreath to do with your places, and a motto that you believe in. Make it symmetrical from side to side.